Southern High Student Takes Top Honors at Statewide Ag Competition

Chalk up another win for Southern High’s Future Farmers of America (FFA). On Saturday, the Harwood school’s Sierra Criste won first place in the animal science division at the Maryland State Agriscience Career Development Event (CDE) in College Park. Criste won for her project, “The Effect of Rye Cover Crop Fodder on the Weight of Poultry Eggs.” She took second place in the state overall for the project.

For the study, Criste selected six laying hens and isolated them in separate cages for five weeks. The hens were all fed the same type and amount of regular poultry feed for 10 days. This established a control period during which time she weighed and recorded the weight of each egg, and notated from which hen the eggs originated.

Southern High FFA wins at Maryland State competition.

Southern High’s Sierra Criste took first place in the animal division at Saturday’s Maryland State Ag competition.

During this time, Criste also cultivated a rye cover crop from a fodder system which yields approximately 60 pounds of fodder in seven days.

Criste began supplementing the chickens’ feed with the rye cover crop fodder, in equal amounts, for the next several weeks. She continued weighing each egg to see if there was a difference in weight from the control weight.

Criste found that the fodder supplement did increase the weight of the eggs.

She will now submit her report to the National Agriscience committee which will determine if she will be able to compete at the National FFA Convention in October 2014.

The Southern High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) club was reconstituted in 2011 by Dr. Joshua Rice, Agricultural Sciences teacher. Since that time, the group has been actively involved in entering (and winning) competitions and promoting the club and program to the community and other schools.

Rice recently announced that he will be leaving Southern High School at the end of the school year to take on a teaching position at a college out of state. In a statement he said, “[i]n many ways, the Southern High Agricultural Science students teach everyone the true meaning of compassion, caring, understanding, cooperation, patience, perseverance and integrity because they demand so much more than any other students.”

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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