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Members of Riverbend's Veterinary Science Team are Taylor Smith, Kristy D'Alessandro, coach Sue Venable-Shelton, Kendra Monteith and Veronica Thornton.
By CATHY DYSON
The Spotsylvania FFA Alumni organization is trying to raise money to send a local team to a national competition and a state officer to an international gathering.
The fundraising effort is being led by Larry Case, a Spotsylvania County resident who retired in January 2011 as the National FFA Organization's chief executive officer.
He's the president of the Spotsylvania FFA Alumni group. FFA stands for Future Farmers of America.
The Veterinary Science Team from Riverbend High School placed first, from among 25 teams from across the state, at the Virginia State FFA Association meeting in June. The win qualified the team to attend the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis in October.
The team needs $3,600 to cover travel expenses.
Team members Taylor Smith, Kristy D'Alessandro, Kendra Monteith and Nicki Thornton are coached by teacher Sue Venable-Shelton.
The group gathered in their classroom three days a week after school and regularly spent several hours going over flashcards, computer games, matching games and other studying devices, Taylor said.
Participants have to take a written exam as well as be able to identify breeds, equipment and parasites.
"Mrs. Shelton pushed us to stay after school even on days when we didn't feel like it," Taylor said. "Without her, our team would not have had that beginning push we needed."
The team will continue to study until the national competition.
Paryce Bradlly, who graduated from Riverbend in June, has been elected a member of the Virginia FFA State Officer Team. As the state reporter, she is eligible to attend the International Leadership Seminar for State Officers.
Officers study abroad to understand the diversity of another country's agriculture and bring that knowledge back to Virginia.
Officers visit schools and hold workshops with students about what they've learned.
Bradlly and other officers hope to travel to Argentina to observe the culture and agricultural businesses there. The Spotsylvania FFA is trying to raise $5,000 to defray expenses of her trip.
"I wanted to become a state officer so that I can make a difference in the lives of students just like past state officers made in me," Bradlly said.
Case, the alumni president, pointed out there are no administrative fees involved. All money donated goes directly to the students.
More information is available by contacting him at 540/850-4420 or at larry email@example.com.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425