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INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 20 agricultural teachers and college professors from throughout the U.S. met in Indianapolis in August to determine what FFA members and teams would compete for top honors in the 2019 National FFA Agriscience Fair.

The National FFA Agriscience Fair is a key competition that is part of the annual National FFA Convention & Expo, which was held Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2019 in Indianapolis. To qualify, FFA members working as individuals or teams in grades seven through 12 are required to conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture or food science industries and win their state's FFA Agriscience Fair. Individuals or teams compete in one of six categories -- animal systems; environmental services/natural resource systems; food products and processing systems; plant systems; power, structural and technical systems; or social science - in six divisions - individuals in grades 7-8, teams grades 7-8, individuals grades 9-10, teams grades 9-10, individuals in grades 11-12, and teams grades 11-12.

First place winners in each state qualified for the national pre-qualifying judging. The panel of judges reviewed entries and selected a maximum of 12 in each category and division to move on to the national competition. The teams of Alice Hughes/Shannon Rossman and Matisyn Howell/Megan LoPresto of the Jonesville FFA chapter in Jonesville, MI, were named national finalists this year in the Animal Systems, Division 4 and Plant Systems, Division 6 categories (respectively) of the Agriscience Fair competition. Hughes, the daughter of Gary, Jr. and Carrie Hughes, Jonesville; and Rossman, the daughter of Mark and Melanie Rossman, Litchfield are both three year members of the Jonesville FFA Chapter, not counting their junior high years. Howell, the daughter of Jeremy and Erin Howell, Osseo and Lo Presto, the daughter of Scott and Tammy LoPresto, Litchfield are both four year members of the Jonesville FFA Chapter, not counting their junior high years.

Both teams, Hughes/Rossman and Howell/LoPresto, received a Gold Award on their respective projects. Hughes/Rossman were then named Top 3 Finalists in the country at the Science Fair Luncheon held at the J. W. Marriott during the National FFA Convention. Their Final placing of 3rd in the country in Animal Systems, Division 4 was announced during the Convention's Session 4 held at Lucas Oil Stadium and also aired live on RFDTV/Cowboy Channel on Friday, Nov. 1. For a complete list of results, check www.ffa.org/participate/awards/agriscience-fair/.

The 2019 National FFA Agriscience Fair is sponsored by Cargill, John Deere and Syngenta. The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 669,989 student members who belong to one of 8,630 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 459,514 alumni members in 2,236 alumni chapters throughout the U.S.

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