Smyrna FFA members and advisors were honored with more than 20 awards at the annual Delaware FFA Awards Breakfast July 25 at the Delaware State Fair.


Smyrna FFA members and advisors were honored with more than 20 awards at the annual Delaware FFA Awards Breakfast July 25 at the Delaware State Fair.

Smyrna High School teacher and FFA advisor Jim Harrison was recognized as Delaware’s Agriscience Teacher of the Year.

“He exemplifies what an ag teacher should be,” said Cape Henlopen’s Heather Hastings, the 2007 teacher of the year. “Many said they would not be in FFA or in agriculture if not for this man.”

Harrison, who has taught in Smyrna for 32 years, plans to retire at the end of August.

Smyrna High FFA named gold chapter

The Smyrna High School FFA chapter was recognized – once again – with a National Chapter Award for being the top chapter in Delaware. Outstanding chapters are awarded gold, silver or bronze awards, and Smyrna took gold once again.

“I think we’ve been a Gold chapter every year for the past 30 years,” Harrison said.

The award is given to a school with a strong ag curriculum and an active FFA with strong leadership and student projects.

Smyrna Middle School honored for top membership growth

The Smyrna Middle School FFA chapter was recognized at the ceremony for growing faster than any other chapter in Delaware. Their membership increased by nearly 100 members during the past year.

“What a great job they did increasing membership,” said State FFA Adviser Karen Hutchison.

Holly Hufford, seventh grade agriscience teacher, said the chapter grew from 36 to 134 members in one year.

“We had a great team of officers that really got students involved,” she said.

Individual and team awards

Among the award winners from Smyrna High was Bobby Smith, who won first place for National Dairy Showmanship. Smyrna Middle School students Emily Smith and Dustin Warren, took fourth and fifth places, respectively, in the same category, competing against high school students statewide.

Top team efforts came from Lauren Nickerson and Lauren Voss, who won first place in the agriscience fair in zoology for their project on the effects of music on poultry egg production; from Smyrna High’s National Ag Mechanics team (Chris Shifflette, Michael Severson, William Powers, and Dan Reynolds), placing third; and from Smyrna High’s National Horse Judging Team, which came in second place. Individual awards for National Horse Judging went to Amber Caldwell, third; Eric Polkinghorne, ninth; and Casse Rhodes, tenth.

Smyrna High also won fifth place for its Educational Display, and the National Livestock team took fourth place.

Other individual awards went to Michael Severson, ninth place for Tractor Driving and Ronnie Carroll, ninth place for National Livestock Judging.

Dan Reynolds, a 2008 graduate of Smyrna High, was honored with a $500 scholarship from the Delaware FFA Foundation.  Reynolds plans to study animal science at Virginia Tech.

In the Agriscience Fair, the following Smyrna Middle School teams won awards: Lea Stuhltrager and Brittany Wilson, first, botany; Morgan Jewell and Andrea Davis, first, environmental; and Tommy Smith and Lee Severson, second, environmental.

Individual awards in the agriscience fair went to middle school students Tommy Clark, first, botany; Samantha Bantom, third, botany; Danielle Lubbers, fifth, botany; Emily Smith, first, environmental; Dustin Warren, first, zoology; and Katie Daniels, second, zoology.