Hannah Roberts, Staff Writer

On April 14, Thursday, the Heritage High School FFA finished with first place at the Area One Forestry Field Day at Cartersville. With this remarkable win, they qualified for state competition at Swainsboro, which was on Wednesday, April 20. Unfortunately, they didn’t do as well as they had hoped and finished in 11th place, but since they were in shock that they made it to state, no one was too disappointed. It did still seem to be a bittersweet experience for all of the members and the sponsor, Ms. Shearer, who told me, “We wish we had done better at state, but we will just have to work harder next year.” While competing, each student has a specific category that they focus on. There are ten event teams with two people in Forest Management. Our Future Farmers of America Forestry Team has 11 members, including Dawson Simmons, Isabelle Hill, Caleb Burger, Ashley McKenzie, Aidan Valentine, Chance Silvers, Reagan Dyer, Taylor Dyer, Nicholas Moore, Kali Callaway, and Breanna Taylor. Every category is extremely different from the other one, and the first one is Reforestation where you are timed to see how many trees and seedlings are planted. TSI is identifying which trees need to be cut down and explaining why. Timber Stand Improvement is using a selective amount of tools to find the volume of a specific tree. Cruising for Board Foot is all about finding the amount of boards out of one tree. For Tree Identification, there are 78 trees that have to be identified with no tools allowed. You can only go by what you see and base your answer off of things like the leaves and sticks. Ocular Estimation is similar in the sense that you cannot use any tools to help, but in this case, the tree must be classified. Land Measurement is where you are given a plot and are supposed to determine the acreage to the nearest .001 of an acre. Hand Compass is finding the distance between four designated lines using only a compass. In Forest Management, you are also given a plot, but this is to determine the use of different trees. Lastly, there is Tree and Forest Disorders where you are given a list of diseases, insects, and basic species in Georgia and need to identify and answer questions about them. While they were there, they camped out at George L. Smith State Park. After an exciting win and a great time at state, it looks like our FFA has many more years of success ahead of it.