Four Tyler Consolidated students who placed first in the 2011 FFA National Land Judging and Homesite Evaluation are now being honored with signs marking their achievements. Four signs in all will go up beneath markers at each end of the county, declaring Tyler County the home of the students' national achievement.
Tyler Consolidated Senior Ashley Watson and graduates Ashley Cochran and Emily Wells returned to their roots in FFA Advisor Leon Ammons' classroom, where Delegate Roger Romine presented them with one of the commemorative signs. Not present was fourth team member George Hilvers, who has an engineering internship at Atlantic Contracting in Virginia for the summer.
"I believe West Virginia has the most small farms of any state in the country," said Delegate Romine, who introduced the legislation to attain the signs. He went on to discuss the importance of growing agricultural science. "It's becoming a business. There are a lot of opportunities out there."
Ashley Watson, Emily Wells, and Ashley Cochran display the sign dedicated to their winning team. (photo courtesy of Janet Wells)
He also expressed gratitude for fellow representatives who helped make the dedication possible.
"I'd like to give a thank you to Senator Edgell and Senator Kessler for helping attain the signs," he said.
Others present described the hard work behind these Tyler Consolidated FFA victories.
"Leon Ammons instills a passion in his kids that they never knew they had," said Janet Wells of the Office of the Superintendent; she is also the mother of honoree Emily Wells. "For many, it completely changes the direction of their lives. Tyler County is so fortunate to have him preparing these students to work or continue their education in agriculture. This benefits all of us."
While complimenting the work of Ammons, Board Member Ken Hunt also described the dedication of the students.
"The kids have to want to do it," he said.