Van Buren High School’s FFA Envirothon team placed second in the state at this year’s Envirothon Competition.
Ag Teacher Lance Smith said that students prepare to be tested for six categories: forestry, wildlife, aquatics, soil, current issues, and presentation. He said that there are both multiple-choice tests and hands-on tests at the competition.
“Some of this I would go over in class in my applied environmental science class, there’s another class the natural resources management class that covers part of it as well, we do soil judging throughout the year,” Smith said. “So some of this is repetitive. But other stuff like the aquatics and the current issues, that’s just a lot of studying.”
Smith said that the hands-on tests also provide students with a unique experience.
“Like on forestry, they have some live trees to identify so you actually get to go up there and it’s live and in person,” Smith said. “On the soils part, you actually go into a soil pit and determine the slope, the texture, water holding capacity, root depth, and all of the stuff that goes along with that.”
Smith said that the Envirothon competition is an annual academic competition that sees some 500,000 students participate across North America. He said that 79 teams competed at this year’s state competition.
Smith said that his students were already excited to plan for next year.