FFA performs well at speaking contest
The New Richmond High School hosted the District Speaking Contest for FFA on Tuesday, Feb. 4, and the New Richmond FFA team came away with first-place finishes in the Parliamentary Procedures competition and the Prepared Speech.
“Everybody who entered from the New Richmond FFA teams advanced, so that was awesome,” Sauvola said.
The District competition featured six schools from New Richmond’s district and the top two finishers in each contest advanced to Sectionals. New Richmond’s two winners will compete again at Sectionals on March 11, in Menomonie.
Parliamentary Procedures tests the students ability to run a meeting and get through five agenda items in the allotted eight to 12 minutes. The New Richmond team, which is made up of FFA officers, took first by being polished and well spoken.
“Parliamentary procedure is kind of a dying art, however, as part of their contract that they fill out for me to be an FFA officer, I ask them to commit to being on the team,” Sauvola said. “We competed against Glenwood and St. Croix Central and took first place. It was great to see the students’ team dynamics. It is just funny because they don’t think they know what they are talking about, but the judges said they were really polished and very well spoken. That was great to hear.”
The New Richmond Parliamentary Procedure team is made up of Haley Turany, Serena Randolph, Shawnee Holte, Dakota Hatch, Bridgette Hatch and Abby Martin.
After the team completes all its items of business, each student is asked questions to test their knowledge of meetings and the procedures that come with it. Their answers range from a simple yes or no with an explanation, up to the “green sheet” which is a list of salient points the group can perform during a meeting, such as refer an item to a committee.
New Richmond’s Haley Turany also placed first in the Prepared Speech event with her speech titled “More than Cows, Sows and Plows.” Turany had six to eight minutes to give her speech.
“Her speech focused on ag literacy and how everybody should be speaking the truths of agriculture,” Sauvola said. “She has to prepare the entire manuscript and submits it to the judges two weeks ahead of time, then she memorizes it. They expect her to deliver it word for word as it was written. She too blew the competition out of the water, which was great to see.”
The other competitions which took place at the District Speaking Contest included, quiz bowl, creed competition, extemporaneous, discussion and the job interview contest.
“I had one person in Discussion, who was trying out in Shawnee Holte, and she placed third in her first round, but they only take the top two from each round,” Sauvola said. “But she will be ready for next year, because she had no idea even what the contest was all about. So, I give her credit for trying something new and stepping outside of her box.”
Other FFA members who did not compete at the District competition served as time keepers and escorts to guide students from visiting schools around the high school. The competition took up the entire first floor of the high school, including competition rooms, holding rooms for students waiting for scores and areas for the teams to congregate after and between events.
“Students in my classes, as well as FFA members who might not be in my class this semester, served as time keepers,” Sauvola said. “We had about 30 judges that were either from the community or staff. Then we also had students escorting contestants to rooms and whatnot since they know the building.”
The New Richmond FFA chapter currently sits at just more than 60 members, according to Sauvola, and she pointed out that students can still join since FFA is a year-round club/activity.
“I am not the traditional teacher who has the summers off since I work with the FFA members throughout the summer with their projects and things,” Sauvola said. “In fact, we just got a new FFA member yesterday. And now that semester classes are rolling there will be more and more people coming out.”
One thing Sauvola made sure to point out was the fact that the competition would not have gone as smoothly or as easily as it had without the help of the community, school staff or students.
“We want to give a special thank you to the community folks who came in to help because we had a wide variety of things that we needed help with and it was good to have them there,” Sauvola said.