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Hudson FFA Floriculture team heads to national stage

Hudson FFA member Emily Larsen at volunteers at the Wisconsin Working Stock Dog Association's Sheepdog Trials Labor Day weekend at the Badlands Sno-Park in Hudson.1 / 5
Hudson FFA member Emma Filipiak in her FFA jacket. 2 / 5
Emma Sunblad carries vegetables and produce grown by Hudson FFA at the community garden. Photos courtesy of Cynthia Landers3 / 5
Hudson FFA members Lizzie Schousek and Emily Larsen practice floriculture skills.4 / 5
Hudson FFA members Lizzie Schousek, Andrea Favilla and Rachel Ball preparing for the floriculture contest.5 / 5

After more than a year of learning, practicing and studying, Hudson FFA's Floriculture team will represent the state of Wisconsin at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 24-27. The team is comprised of Rachel Ball, Emma Filipiak and Emily Larsen, juniors at Hudson High School, and Lizzie Schousek, a freshman studying plant science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

The team placed first at the regional competition in River Falls and second at the state competition in Madison. The Floriculture team has worked hard to identify plants and tools, diagnose plant disorders and diseases, design corsages and floral arrangements and improve their people and interview skills. Floriculture is one of FFA's many Career Development Events. The team would like to thank Andrea Favilla, a Hudson FFA Booster member for her support in training the team. Also, thanks to Shelli Erk from Hudson Floral for helping students develop job interview skills and answer floral industry questions.

Cynthia Landers, Hudson's agriculture instructor and FFA advisor, has been building the department and FFA program since 2014. The chapter has grown from a couple members to over 30 and Hudson's FFA students have qualified for state competitions in Horse Evaluation, Veterinary Science and Floriculture and National competition two times in the Environmental Natural Resources contest. Hudson's chapter has also developed relationships through the community garden, providing fresh produce for the United Way Food Pantry, organizing a "Dash for Dogs" fundraiser for Coco's Heart pet rescue and volunteering at the local sheep dog trials.

If anyone is interested in supporting Hudson FFA's program, there are a couple ways to help. The chapter is starting its annual fruit, meat and cheese sales which finance students in leadership and career development events. Also, Hudson FFA Boosters group, which organized a couple of years ago in order to support FFA, is looking for new members. FFA boosters fundraise to offset member travel, registration fees and official dress costs. FFA boosters help out in a variety of ways such as chaperone, assist with career competition teams, deliver fruit and design the FFA scrapbook. he boosters meet monthly, however a member can serve in different ways and does not always have to attend meetings.

If interested in ordering fruit, meat or cheese or for questions about Hudson FFA, contact Landers at landercl@hudsonraiders.org.