East FFA just keeps climbing


Savannah Whittecar

Trying to reach a goal or better oneself can often feel a lot like climbing a very tall ladder. At the beginning, you may not be able to see the top, but you have to keep climbing, one step at a time

No one knows more about the climb than the East High Frontier FFA chapter. This group has been working hard to become better school and community leaders by improving their public speaking skills.

Cheyenne East High School students competed in the Frontier FFA Chapter speech contest on January 25. The top speakers were able to move on to compete at the district level. The top district students will then go to participate in the regional speech contest. The best at regionals are then invited to compete at the state level and, if successful, move onto the national competition.

Four members of Frontier FFA were successful at Districts will now compete at the regional speech contest on March 2.

The first, and most important, competition is Creed Speaking Contest. Students are judged on their ability to present the National FFA Creed from memory and answer three questions related to it.

Freshmen Colton Schick and Charlotte Ehlman moved on from the chapter speech contest and will now compete at regionals.

“I came in during lunch and every morning before school to practice,” says Schick. “I’m going to ‘keep grinding’ and know what I need to work on. I don’t want to just make it there. I want to win nationals.”

Up next for the group was extemporaneous speaking. In this competition, the students draw three questions and choose one to address. They then have thirty minutes to prepare a speech on the topic, including fifteen minutes of computer time and the remaining time with prepared materials.

Senio Haylie Turley and junior Savannah Schilling were ready for the extemporaneous competition. Schilling earned fourth place in districts and Turley will move on to regionals. It isn’t easy for members to prepare for extemporaneous speaking when they don’t know what they will be talking about until just before they present.

“I tried to relax and not look so serious,” said Turley. “I prepared my binders. We are only allowed to have five binders, so I made sure all my topics were up to date, and I studied to prepare. I had the topic on what is carbon sequestration, so I really needed to build up my knowledge on climate change with my binders and on the internet,” says Turley.

It takes considerable preparation on a wide range of agricultural topics before taking that finally step onto the stage, however the labor proved to be worth it for Turley. “I am very blessed for the opportunity to end my senior year strong,” she said.

In prepared speaking, Jayden Riddle, sophomore, wrote and memorized a speech. She was successful and will go on to give her speech at Regionals.

“My topic was xenotransplantation, the process of transplanting organs between different members of species,” Riddle said. “I talked to my ag teacher about questions, and I did a lot of research. Then I went through my speech and memorized it.”

Riddle has already put in a lot of time into her speech and will continue to in preparation for the regional meet.

All the Frontier FFA members who participated in the District Speech Contest worked hard towards their goals to improve as public speakers and as a token of their efforts, they have all turned out successful so far. They will continue to run tirelessly towards their destination, climbing that ladder, one step, one practice, and one competition at a time.