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Portal team wins state FFA Career Development Event
Nursery-Landscape team wins first state title, advances to nationals
Portal team wins
Pictured are Katie Beth Mims, North Region FFA state vice resident; Cayla Morris, Amonica Kirkland, Caree McGahee and Heidi Sawyer of Portal FFA; Dr. Leslie Edgar, department head, UGA Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication Department; and College of Agriculture student ambassador.

Portal Middle High School’s FFA Nursery-Landscape team won the state title for their Career Development Event on March 24 at the University of Georgia in Athens. Team members Amonica Kirkland, Cayla Morris, Caree McGahee and Heidi Sawyer advanced to state after winning the Area 4 competition in Swainsboro on Feb. 27.  

The team will now travel to Indianapolis in October to compete in the national Nursery-Landscape competition held during the National FFA Convention. 

“They’ve worked hard for months,” said Dr. Tom Marshall, PMHS’s agriculture teacher and FFA adviser. Marshall has led PMHS’s FFA to multiple area, state and national titles, the last being a Meats Evaluation state title.

The Nursery/Landscape CDE allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in plant materials, plant disorders, cultural practices, design and construction, supplies and equipment, safety, interpersonal relations, marketing and records and reports. The national FFA organization is part of PMHS’ agricultural education programs and is one of four co-curricular student organizations available to Portal students within the school’s six career pathways.  

Portal’s Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program offers two agricultural-related career pathways for students to pursue within Georgia’s Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster: Plant & Landscape Systems; and  Horticulture & Forest Science.

FFA is a national organization of more than 600,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.  FFA is an integral part of the agricultural education program in public schools.  The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The Nursery/Landscape Career Development Event is sponsored at the state level by the Georgia FFA Foundation.

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