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Denmark FFA seniors win state title, heading to national convention for first time
Vet Science
The senior veterinary science team won the Future Farmers of America state title this past weekend. From left to right, the students on the team are Bella Sims, Josie Hale, Kendall Hilyer and Tanmayee Udas. Photo courtesy of Shelly Williams.

Denmark High School’s Veterinary Science teams went to the Future Farmers of America statewide competitions this past weekend, the senior team walking away with the state title for the first time and the junior team placed second among more than 30 teams.

Now, the senior students are preparing to head off to the 2021 FFA National Convention, a dream that they never thought would come true so soon in the program’s lifetime.

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it,” said Shelly Williams, director of the Denmark FFA and Vet Science program. “I thought maybe next year, but [the students] went ahead and did it.”

Williams explained that the junior team won the state title in the program’s first year in 2019. Junior teams, however, do not have the opportunity to move on to the national convention, meaning this will be the first time they will be able to attend as competitors.

The FFA students all went to the convention in Indianapolis in 2019 as spectators, and they loved the experience.

“I just had some kids who said, ‘We just really wanted to go to nationals,’” Williams said. “And their parents paid for them to go, so we got to see what it was all about. I know that probably encouraged them.”

When they arrived, there were thousands of FFA students, sporting blue blazers for the competition, there for the convention. As a newcomer to the program, Williams said she “couldn’t believe it.”

From then on, the team’s goal was to earn the state title and make it to nationals, and the team is thrilled to be going so soon. The 94th national convention will take place again in Indianapolis this year from Oct. 27-30.

The junior team also walked away from the state competition last weekend, thrilled with a second-place win. Madden Callis, on Denmark’s junior team, earned the title of top junior student across the state.

The two teams were chosen to compete in the state convention after winning out in area competitions earlier in January.

“I’m so happy,” Williams said. “We have some tough competition.”

Veterinary Science Program
Denmark's junior vet team from left to right: Mackenzie Kratz, Madden Callis, McKenzie Souder and Sienna Lopez. Photo courtesy of Shelly Williams.