Students practice life skills in competition |

Students practice life skills in competition

Teri Vance

Ty Keppner, 15, plans to pursue a degree in agriculture engineering after graduating from Lund High School. After that, he wants to return to his family’s farm there.

His involvement in the National FFA Organization – formerly Future Farmers of America – will help him achieve those goals, he said.

“It’s a good opportunity,” he said. “There’s a lot of scholarships available.”

The skills he put to use during Friday’s welding competition will help him back on the farm.

“You’re always fixing stuff,” he said.

Students from about 20 FFA organizations across Nevada competed this week in the state competition in Reno. Winners will advance to the national convention in Indianapolis.

The Ag Mechanics competition, testing skills from surveying to cutting and welding, was held at Carson City’s Western Nevada College.

“These are actual skills that are necessary for careers,” said Jim Cooney, a retired FFA teacher who served as coordinator for the competition.

From the practical skills being tested Friday to other categories ranging from public speaking to parliamentary procedure, Cooney said the organization benefits students involved.

“It develops an awful lot of the life skills that are necessary when these kids get out of high school,” he said.

The state convention concludes today.