The Ag Bowl

1/12/2013 7:00 AM
By Dennis Larison Editor

If you thought you were done with college bowl games, think again. There’s still one to be decided today — the FFA Ag Bowl.

Nor does it involve just two teams going head to head. This one pits a dozen teams vying with one another. And spectators get to pick the winner.

Many of those spectators will be swayed, no doubt, by school loyalties, which is one reason the competition reminds us of a college bowl game. But to be fair, fans should give all the teams a chance to show their stuff.

What I’m talking about, if you haven’t guessed by now, is this year’s FFA technology competition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

It’s a spectator sport because, like last year, it’s a video competition. And there’s a collegiate aspect to it because the FFA chapters that are competing this year paired up with various schools to highlight different agricultural careers and the education required to pursue them.

Nor is this competition limited to Pennsylvania. Although all the FFA chapters are within the state, some of the colleges are not.

So, if you’re a fan of the State University of New York, the University of Delaware or the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, keep reading.

And best of all, spectators haven’t had to wait until Game Day to watch the competition. If you haven’t already, you can still see it all played out at

The career tracks range from ag service technician to environmental science, and the key players include former FFA chapter members who completed their studies at those schools and the professors who taught them as well as the current FFA members who interview them.

The Grand Canyon FFA chapter from Wellsboro Area High School, for instance, takes a look at the aquaculture studies program at Mansfield University.

Manheim FFA from Manheim Central High School hooks up with the dairy science program at Delaware Valley College with the assistance of Tom Nauman, a 1980 graduate of the program.

And Derry FFA from Derry High School checks out Westmoreland County Community College’s program for prospective greenhouse managers.

Also represented are Harrisburg Area Community College, Messiah College, Longwood Gardens, Wilson College and, of course, Penn State University.

Now, if it sounds like Lancaster Farming is leading the cheering section for this bowl game, that’s because, as one of the main sponsors, we are.

We’re counting on these FFA members not only to be our future readers but also the agricultural leaders who will be making the news that we report.

If you haven’t already stopped by the Lancaster Farming booth at the Pennsylvania Farm Show to cast a ballot for your favorite team, be sure to do so this morning before it’s too late.

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