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May 26, 2015


(L-R): Zach Bagley, Alcovy; Paton Day, Newton; Hunter Davidson, Eastside; & Katy Coggins, Eastside)

Newton County School System (NCSS) students were very successful in the competitions held at the recent 87th Georgia FFA State Convention! Two students, Zach Bagley of Alcovy High School, and Paton Day, of Newton High School, brought home first place awards.  Hunter Davidson of Eastside High earned a second place award and Katy Coggins, also of Eastside, won a third place award!

Alcovy High School’s Zack Bagley won the top award in the Specialty Animal Production Proficiency competition at the State Convention. In recognition of his first place win, Zack received a plaque and a cash award of $100. He also earned $500 in travel money to attend the National FFA Convention.

Specialty Animal Production involves the use of the best management practices available to efficiently produce and market specialty animals including bees, goats, mules, donkeys, miniature horses, meat rabbits, mink, worms, ostriches, emus, alpacas, or llamas. Placement experiences can involve working at a zoo or at any specialty animal facility.

Newton High School student Paton Day also brought home a first place award, winning top honors in the Forest Management and Products proficiency competition. Just like Zack, Paton received a plaque and a cash award of $100. He also earned $500 in travel money to attend the National FFA Convention.

Participants in the Forest Management and Products Proficiency implement best management practices for the conservation, or accumulation, of the economic value of a forest and/or forest products through practices such as thinning, pruning, weeding, stand improvement, reforestation, insect and disease control, planting, and harvesting.

In the Landscape Management Proficiency competition, Eastside High School student Hunter Davidson took the second place award and also received a $50 cash prize. Landscape Management Proficiency students gain valuable knowledge through their participation in career specific activities such as planting and maintaining plants and shrubs, landscaping and outdoor beautification, installing sprinklers, and improving recreational areas.

Hunter’s fellow Eastside student, Katy Coggins, proved successful at the Georgia FFA State Convention too, taking home the third place award in the Goat Production Proficiency competition. She also received cash prize of $25. Students who participate in the Goat Production Proficiency implement management practices to produce and market in the goat industry.

“Georgia FFA is home to some of the most rigorous competition our students face,” said NCSS CTAE Coordinator Tim Schmitt. “To be among the winners in FFA is truly an accomplishment and is a testament to how hard these students and their teachers have worked all year.  I know these students will represent Newton County and the state of Georgia well as they move on to compete on the national stage.”

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, Director of Public Relations for Newton County Schools, at