B-UHS Ag Innovation finalists receive prizes from WVDE


BUCKHANNON — Buckhannon-Upshur High School sophomore FFA students Keldon Shiflett, Elijah Bryant, Avery Starkey and Kaylin Walton recently captured four of the six finalist spots in the statewide Student Agriculture Innovation Challenge.

The contest was sponsored by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University, Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College, and the West Virginia Departments of Education (WVDE) and Agriculture. On Friday, WVDE Career Technical Education Coordinator and WV State FFA Advisor Nathan Taylor visited B-UHS to present awards to these noteworthy students for their achievements in the Ag Innovation showcase.

Taylor noted that the WVDE in partnership with RCBI allows students such as these to take their agriculture innovations and ideas and help turn them into a reality. This year, the Ag Innovation Showcase was held virtually on Zoom, but Taylor mentioned that this had some added benefits such as Zoom based trainings and overviews that they didn’t have the opportunity to do in the past.

B-UHS Agriculture teacher and FFA Advisor Allyson Lewis explained to other students present who aren’t currently involved with FFA or agriculture classes, “These kids did something you all can absolutely do. Every year there is an innovation contest and we have a lot of success here at the high school. I want you guys to know they’re going to win a lot of awesome prizes and money, and everyone in here can do that!”

Taylor also told the staff and students in attendance that they should be very thankful for the Ag Department at B-UHS. He stated, “They’ve taken this Showcase Challenge very seriously and it shows when you see the number of students coming from this high school. We had six finalists and four of them came from the program here.”

This is the fourth year that B-UHS FFA students have participated in the competition; however, this is the largest group to have ever been selected as finalists in the competition. Each of the students received $100 in addition to a desktop 3D printer, and a toolbox containing 3D printer tools.

Buckhannon-Upshur High School sophomore FFA students Keldon Shiflett, Elijah Bryant, Avery Starkey and Kaylin Walton recently captured four of the six finalist spots in the statewide Student Agriculture Innovation Challenge.

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