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Susanville Future Farmers’ Veterinary Science Team Shines Bright at National Competition

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Flanked by a pair of representatives of Zoetis, sponsors of the FFA competition, are FFA Advisor Elizabeth Ammon, Kassie Sandborg, Carlene Simpson, Honesty Drake and Waylon Miller.

The Susanville Future Farmers of America Veterinary Science team traveled across the country to compete at the FFA Nationals in Indianapolis this week and brought home perfect scores and high marks in the two-day competition.

It’s been a long journey for the FFA’s Veterinary Science team who won at the state level in San Luis Obispo last May, qualifying them to compete at Nationals.

“We spent all summer practicing for the National competition,” explains FFA Coach Elizabeth Ammon. “We have continued to practice since school started, including facetiming with the other team members not in California.”

Distance has made practicing difficult according to Ammon. Kassie Sandborg, who graduated in June moved to Minot, North Dakota for college and Carlene Simpson moved to Lexington to attend University of Kentucky. Honesty Drake is a senior this year and Waylon Miller is a sophomore.

On Sunday the group met up in Indianapolis for the two-day competition.

“Day one they did the ID, writing and testing portion,” said Ammon. “For ID they have to know hundreds of pieces of equipment and their uses, breeds (everything from a sugar glider to a Holstein), and parasites (and their entire life cycles) and microscopic ID.”

For the writing portion the Susanville FFA’ers had to write an essay about the current opioid shortage and how it is impacting veterinary medicine. The tests included a general knowledge test (from 14 sources) and a math test (includes drip rates for medicine, conversions and interpreting prescriptions).

“Day two were the practicums and the team skit. They had to memorize word for word all 38 practicums (some 11 detailed steps long) and be able to properly demonstrate them.”

Eight practicums were randomly selected at Nationals. This included filing a syringe, subcutaneous injections, planning a cat in a cat bag and preparing a cat for femoral venipuncture.

The team did a skit on fear-free feline care, a topic they were given, and were judged for 15-minutes on preparing their skit, then immediately moved into a performance.

“Kassie Sandborg placed 9th high individual,” said Ammon. “Kassie and Carlene both received perfect scores on their clinical practicums and Carlene also scored perfect on her handling practicums.”

Each team member received a $1000 cash prize for winning Nationals.

Seven other Susanville FFA students joined them after the competition, along with almost 70,000 others from across the nation, to attend the National Convention.

“All of the Susanville group attended sessions, workshops and a career show. They also got to listen to President Trump address the 9th general session, tour the Indy speedway, an exotic feline rescue center and Kentucky horse parks, breeding facilities, an equine hospital, Churchill Downs, University of Kentucky and the Louisville Slugger museum before heading home.”

It was a busy week for some of Susanville’s finest students and we should all be proud of their work and dedication. Thanks for representing Lassen County so well!

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5 Responses to Susanville Future Farmers’ Veterinary Science Team Shines Bright at National Competition

  1. Barbara Huffman Weeks

    Barbara Huffman Weeks

    Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 1:15 pm


  2. Glenn Ehly

    Glenn Ehly

    Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 12:49 pm


  3. Jennifer Cesarin

    Jennifer Cesarin

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Absolutely awesome. Congratulations. They have put Susanville on the map. Just doesn’t get any better. Incredible young people with an amazing advisor.

  4. Cody Smith

    Cody Smith

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Go girls and walen cant wait to see you guys

  5. Fred Pace

    Fred Pace

    Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Congratulations. Good Ol Chapter 13.

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