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FFA claims State Sales title

From left, Grace O’Callaghan, a senior, Elizabeth Enke, a senior, Justin Kilgore, a junior, Jaytyn Collier, a junior, and Mary Foles, a senior, show off the silver bowl they won at the Ag Sales State Finals. Courtesy photo

FFA used their salesmanship to conquer the state competition.

The Bear River FFA Agricultural Sales team traveled to Cosumnes River College on April 8 to compete in the Ag Sales State Finals Competition where they brought home the state title. The team included Jaytyn Collier, a junior alternate, Mary Foles, a senior, who took first in individual, Elizabeth Enke, a senior, placed fourth out of 100, Grace O’Callaghan, a senior, placed sixth out of 100, Justin Kilgore, a junior, placed third in individual.

The Ag Sales competition includes all members taking an 100-question test, a team sales presentation, and the individual sales competition. This competition required all contestants to market and sell livestock feeds to customers. Contestants are judged on their sales knowledge, teamwork, and interaction with the public.

The members on the team worked very hard to prepare for the contest.

“I had to study for the test and continue to gain knowledge for how to properly feed market, breeding, and small scale animals,” said O’Callaghan. “I also worked on my salesmanship skills to work with all different kinds of customers.”

“I prepared by making flashcards out of the glossary in the Ag sales textbook, studying all the charts in the Ag Sales textbook, and studying for several hours each day for the week leading up to the competition,” said Foles.

“To prepare for the contest, we practiced our individual sales scenarios and team preparations which is a major part of the contest,” said Kilgore. “I memorized about 250 terms and 20 charts.”

FFA members tried to remain relaxed, with a winning attitude as they entered the contest.

“Going into the competition, we all felt like we had a chance to do well and remember that we were here to have fun,” said O’Callaghan.

“The atmosphere was very different than other competitions,” said Foles. “They took cheating very seriously and the holding room rules were very strict. We were not permitted to have any study materials from the time the test began until we were finished competing.”

“The atmosphere was very serious and our team was focused,” said Enke. “We were determined to win and had fully set out minds to it.”

The Ag Sales team members expressed how thrilled they were when Bear River took top honors at the competition. The team will compete at the National Contest in Indianapolis in October.

“I am very excited for National Finals, but for me it will be difficult to manage college and sports in the fall,” said O’Callaghan.

“My reaction was pleasantly surprised,” said Foles. “Sales isn’t something that I had excelled at in the past, so knowing that I worked hard and improved myself was really rewarding.”

“I am very excited to be representing California, Bear River, and my college at the National Finals in October,” said Enke.

“I am excited to compete at Nationals,” said Kilgore. “I think our team will have a step ahead being that we have Mr. Paasch, who has been very successful at the National level with sales.”

Kilgore explained the outcome of the Ag Sales Awards Ceremony.

“When we won state, we were all very excited,” he said. “They announced the top 5 individuals first, and we had three people from our team called up. At that point we knew we were going to win. It was great knowing that we had won by a substantial 73 points. It was an awesome accomplishment.”

Steve Paasch, the Ag Sales coach, talked about how he helped them to succeed by having morning practices and taking them to three different competitions before the finals.

“They were determined and motivated themselves,” he said. “They asked me to help them in practices and we spent three weeks in class doing live tournaments. They finally decided that they wanted to win and studied very hard.”

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FFA claims State Sales title