Friday, November 7, 2014

Cole Sosebee national FFA winner, one of our members

by Linda Erbele

White County News

White County’s Cole Sosebee was named the national winner in Wildlife Management and Production Proficiency at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 1.

Sosebee, 2014-2015 White County FFA president, was selected as one of four finalists from 50 state winners at the convention for his work with Unicoi Outfitters, where he helps manage stream ecology and provides educational demonstrations. He also volunteers with Trout Unlimited to help educate the public about catch-and-release techniques and fly tying.

“I had no idea that it would be me,” he said. “Just to be a national finalist is an honor. It was especially a shock after talking with the others about their projects.”

Sosebee is the son of Terry and Karen Sosebee of Cleveland. He said he has always enjoyed fishing, especially with his dad, and he went by Unicoi Outfitters to get fly-tying equipment. His involvement grew from that first visit.

Morgan Allen was also recognized as a national finalist in the Equine Entrepreneurship Proficiency area, relating to her ownership and management of her cutting horses. She has bought, bred and trained several horses shown in the cutting horse circuit.

The White County FFA Horse Evaluation Team, consisting of Allen, Sadie Hobbs, Audrey Stevens and Amber Dalton, placed sixth in the nation at the convention, which was attended by more than 57,000 students and advisers.

The Agriculture Communications Team, consisting of Cole Sosebee, Cora Edwards and Brittney Westmoreland, placed 10th in the nation.

Students completed a written media plan on food insecurity in White County. They presented the plan, completed an editing quiz and a communications quiz and an individual practicum. Sosebee was named high scorer in the designer practicum with a score of 98, and fourth highest individual overall. Edwards was 10th highest individual.

The Farm Business Management Team placed 15th in the nation. Students completed an individual test over 12 sections ranging from economic principles to income tax management and a team activity which related to agri-tourism. Team members are Haley White, Rebecca Fortner, Morgan Sullens and Brandon Martin.

Three White County students received the American FFA Degree, the highest accomplishment that an FFA member can earn. JJ Harper, Vince Mohler and Hunter Saine each completed 50 hours of community service, earned and productively invested $7,500 and have been an active FFA member to earn the degree.

“This is unbelievably huge,” principal John Osborne said. “All three White County teams got gold awards.”

Osborne attended the convention with students and advisers Dustin and Amanda Keener. He said all 50 states are represented at the convention, and because it is so competitive, students often compete from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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