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MCW student wins FFA award

FAIRMONT — Martin County West Senior Gabby Lange recently won the State FFA Dairy Production Proficiency Award. She is the fifth student in MCW history to win a state proficiency award, according to MCW FFA Advisor Stephanie Wohlhueter. Lange shares some information about the award and her time in FFA.

“I’ve been in FFA since the seventh grade and this year I’m the president of out chapter,” she said. “I got started in FFA because my older siblings have all been involved in it, so I just kind of followed their roles.

“I’ve really enjoyed FFA because of all the connections I’ve made through it,” she continued. “I think I’ve made a lot of friends and met a lot of people who are here to support me and whatever else I want to do in my future.

“One of my favorite activities is doing the dairy judging team career development event. It’s a lot of fun to learn about the industry and the animals and go to competitions and see how successful we can be at state.”

As for the proficiency award, Lange states that she is glad to have won and explains the process.

“There’s a bunch of different categories for proficiencies, and there’s an application to fill out,” she said. “For mine it was working on my family’s dairy farm where my general tasks are feeding calves, milking cows, cleaning out the barns and facilities. Sometimes I’ll help with vaccinations or sorting animals.

“Then I log in all my hours online so they can see how much I’ve worked and then they ask a ton of questions about it, such as what my experiences were and what I’ve learned. So I filled out the application and this year I was able to place first.”

Lange said that her favorite task while working is feeding the calves.

“They’re adorable, and I like to be able to look at a young animal and know that I’m going to play a huge role in helping it grow up to be strong and powerful to help our farm grow. That’s what I started out doing because it was one of the only things I could do when I was younger.

“I also enjoy milking the cows and being in the barn with my dad. I have a lot of memories of spending one on one time with him, doing what he loves.”

Lange said she would highly recommend younger students consider getting involved in the FFA program.

“A lot of people think it’s just farming and, yes, there’s a lot of agricultural sides to it. But there’s so many other opportunities and so many ways it’s impacted my life. I never would have been able to be successful in my proficiency if I wasn’t in FFA to learn about public speaking or leadership events as well. There’s something for everyone and everyone has a place to fit in FFA.”

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