A team of five students from Washington recently participated in the Indiana State Envirothon competition, held on April 30 at Purdue University’s Beck Agricultural Center. The WHS team placed third overall, and received second place honors for the oral presentation portion of the competition.
Team members were: Maria Barco, Tyeesha Jones, Nick McCracken, Lauren Walker, and Zach Walker; alternates were Haley Riddle and Tim Webb. The team, coached by Elizabeth Schaffer and Dale Allison, qualified for the State competition with a second place finish at the Southwest Regional Envirothon in March. The Regional contests, held at several locations across the state, consist of four written tests covering basic natural resource topics, and a fifth test on a current resource issue. The teams of five high school students completed the tests after listening to a series of presentations by local natural resource experts. At the State Envirothon, the teams completed another set of written tests, but were also tasked with creating detailed oral presentations given to a panel of judges. All teams were required to use the current resource issue as their topic – this year’s current issue was Sustainable Agriculture/Locally Grown. The objectives of this year’s presentation required each team to develop hypothetical demonstration plots which incorporated both sustainable agriculture practices and locally grown activities. Their proposed project had to take place at an actual location in their community. The project had to be economically feasible, and students had to consider the impacts on local natural resources, and develop land use/management, marketing and education/outreach plans. The team worked very hard on their presentation, giving up several lunch periods to listen to area natural resource & agriculture experts to help them prepare for the Envirothon. The group sought advice from Marvin and Amy Holstine, owners of the Produce Patch, Kevin Allison, Daviess County Soil & Water Conservation District, Kerry Nielsen, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Scott Rainey, Washington Stormwater Department. The WHS Envirothon team was sponsored by the Daviess County Soil & Water Conservation District, Farm Bureau Inc., Perdue Farms, Crop Production Services, Midwest Ag Finance, McCallister Machinery, and the Mark and Patty McCracken Family.