FFA Shines at Sectional Speaking Competition

On Tuesday, our FFA hosted the San Luis Obispo Section FFA Speaking Competition. There were over 100 competitors from all seven of the high schools in SLO county including Shandon, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Coast Union, San Luis Obispo and Templeton. These members competed in several speaking competitions, each with a unique skill set gained by the students.


First up is the FFA Creed. This competition requires freshman students to memorize and recite the five paragraph creed and and answer questions about what the creed means to them. Templeton had eight members compete and three students move on to the regional competition. Those moving on are Warren Grinnell, Shaylee Baxley – 6th overall, and Carly Wheeler – 5th overall. In the “BIG” – Best Informed Greenhand test – Shaylee Baxley took 1st Individual.

Ashley Hagan, in her first year at THS said, “I was glad I took part in the competition.  It was a good challenge and a great way to practice public speaking and I loved getting to meet new people.”

Lauryn English, also in her first year at THS said, “I loved the opportunity to take part in speaking the FFA creed.  It gave me a better understanding of the future of agriculture.  I also really liked seeing everyone working toward the same goal as a chapter.


In the Job Interview Competition members complete a job resume, cover letter, application and go through mock interviews for agriculturally related jobs. Templeton had six members compete with Riley Mann placing 6th overall, Jonathan Rodriguez 5th and Jessica Welcher moving on to the Regional Competition in 2nd place.  Riley Mann, reflecting on the teams performance said, “I think everyone from our chapter did amazing.  And I love how friendly all the different chapters are to each other.”


In Extemporaneous Public Speaking members choose a topic out of a hat and prepare and present a 4-6 minute speech with only 30 minutes of preparation. Templeton had Dean Hill move on to regionals with a second place win.  Dean said, “It was a good night for Templeton FFA.  So proud of how our team did.”


In the Prepared Competition students research and write a 6-8 minute speech on an agriculturally related issue and present it to a panel of judges. We had two members compete, Katy Simonin and Alic Aurignac with Alic placing 4th and moving on to regionals. Katy said, “It was fun to see all the different speech topics and I’m so excited to see how Templeton FFA does at regionals.”


Lastly, we had the Impromptu Competition where students complete two rounds, one on questions and one on quotes and keywords. Students choose a topic from a hat, have one minute to prepare their thoughts and give a two minute speech. We had seven students compete with Shane Brennan placing 5th overall.  Brooke Smith shared, “Whenever we compete it really becomes a great bonding experience with students from our school and others.  We all want each other to do our best.”

It was a successful event for all those who competed! FFA Advisor Russell Zimmerman said he is “proud of the dedication these students have put into these competitions. Whether they are moving on to regionals or not they have represented Templeton FFA and our community well. I look forward to seeing their efforts prosper at the South Coast Region Competition on March 20th in King City.” This competition will have FFA members from all along the coast of California stretching from the northernmost chapter in the region of Campbell in San Jose to the southernmost chapter of North Hollywood.

Congratulations to all and good luck at Regionals!

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