CASA GRANDE — Casa Grande Union High School FFA was a finalist in the 2020 FFA National Chapter Award competition.

The chapter was one of eight chapters statewide to earn a Gold Rating during state competition last year, earning a spot to move forward to national competition, where they finished as finalists and earned a Three Star rating.

“Having received the Three Star rating, we were fortunate enough to move on to the next round where the Casa Grande FFA had then become a finalist in the National Premier Chapter Awards program in the category of Strengthening Agriculture,” said FFA Adviser Casey Farnsworth.

In the national competition, the CGUHS chapter was one of 10 finalists from across the country.

“And we were one of only two FFA chapters in the entire Western United States to have received such honors,” Farnsworth said. “Even though we did not win, we were recognized at the 93rd National FFA Convention and I am extremely proud of our members who strive to make a difference in their home and community.”

The team competed by video with chapter President Lane Mead and former chapter President Ashton Redd talking about the city of Casa Grande and CGUHS’s various FFA programs, including the welding program, gardens and other aspects of the program.

“Between our gardens and our greenhouse, last year our chapter produced over 11,000 pounds of produce,” Redd said in the video.

She then went on to talk about the student-built hydroponic system in the school greenhouse and the chapter’s partnership with Creative Cafe, which uses some of the crops grown at the school.

In the video Mead talked about student involvement in the tomato-growing program and hurdles it faced last year.

“We are committed to our goals no matter what the setbacks,” he said in the video.

The video includes photos of students working in the garden and greenhouse. It can be seen on YouTube, https://youtu.be/5qd_oAV7vJY.

“We take great pride in the agriculture program we have here at Casa Grande Union High School and continually looking for opportunities to serve our community,” Farnsworth said.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.