Stonewall Jackson FFA team going to national competition

Lindsay Zirkle, from left, Faith Dellinger and Mindi Freed, the FFA meats judging team from Stonewall Jackson High School, are moving on to a national FFA meats competition in Indiana. Courtesy photo

The FFA meats judging team from Stonewall Jackson High School has advanced to the National FFA meats competition.

The team made up of Faith Dellinger, Mindi Freed and Lindsay Zirkle with coach and FFA teacher Tarinda Showman placed first in the Block & Bridle State Meats Judging Career Development state competitions in February. They prepared for about four months before the competition with practice tests and quizzing each other, Showman said.

Mindi noted that it was not difficult, “but it was a lot of hard work that we put into it. There is so much to know.”

It had been about 10 years since the last FFA meats team at Stonewall Jackson moved on in competition, Showman said.

“This is exciting as a teacher,” she said about the team moving on to the national competition.

The competition is a lot more than just identifying the meat and then naming the type of cut, Mindi said.

There is a lot of math, formulas and even being able to tell how meat was processed.

The students will travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, for the National FFA Convention Oct. 23-27.

“I am excited. I think we will do good. We are still studying three to four times a week,” Mindi said.

Mindi placed first high individual overall, Faith placed second overall, and Lindsay placed seventh overall.

“When I heard that I said, ‘I did what?’ and I started laughing,” Mindi said.

Placing right behind them was Central High School. Its FFA team made up of Olivia Gochenour, Shyann Jordan and Ashley Bushong with coach Sherry Heishman placed second in the state.