Can the livestock eat that grass, shrub or a tree? It was up to our CTE Future Farmers of America students to figure it out during the annual Rio Grande Valley District Plant Identification Contest held at the Livestock Show Grounds in Mercedes last week.
The Weslaco High FFA and Weslaco East FFA students competed against the Citrus Valley District which included schools from Valley View, PSJA, Mission, La Joya and La Feria for this year’s first competitive event.
“This was a good way for our students to learn about competing in FFA,” WEHS agricultural teacher/FFA sponsor Lynette Suarez said. “The students did really well.”
During the one-minute rounds, students examined the characteristics of native and introduced plants. Students had to identify plant’s life cycle, growing season, origin and presence of poison. Students were not allowed to handle the plants during the competition and identified 60 samples.
This event helps students develop an interest in the wide-variety of plants that are important habitat components for wild life and domestic livestock.
“This is a career development event,” Suarez said. “In case our students are interested, there are additional courses they can take.”
The WHS FFA chapter Greenhand team placed 3rd and the senior team placed 4th. The WEHS FFA chapter placed 5th. Juan Cadena is the WHS agriculture teacher/FFA sponsor.
The WHS Greenhand team members are: Chris Ramirez, Camryn Bravo, Madison Bravo and Diego Calderon. Senior team members are: Edson Medina, Cora Ford, Anahi Tostado, Jazmin Garza, Ieesha Gomez and Lily Ford. WEHS FFA team members are: William Kromer, Julio Salinas, Matthew Martinez, Angela Torres, Jacob Gonzalez, Eileen Martinez, Jesus Soto and Jaelynn Medellin.