Tyrone Area FFA Students Win Public Speaking Awards

Three of the six students who competed will move on to the next round of competition


Six Tyrone FFA members were among the seventeen students from four Blair County schools to compete in Blair County FFA Public Speaking Events on March 22nd.

Tyrone students Katrina Hagenbuch, Olivia Barr and Mariah Simondale placed top three and will move on to the next level.

Students competed in three categories.

  • Creed– The FFA creed was written by E.M. Tiffany and adopted at the Third National FFA Convention. It was revised at the 38th and 36th Conventions. In this category, members must memorize and deliver this as a speech.
  • Senior Prepared– this public speaking contest allows a member to write a six to eight minute speech on any agriculture topic. The member is scored on a manuscript on their presentation. Following the speech, a panel of five judges questions the speaker for five minutes.
  • Extemporaneous Public Speaking–  According to the Pennsylvania FFA and Agricultural Education, “You deliver a speech on one of three agricultural topics after 30 minutes of preparation. It’s great practice to learn how to think on your feet and make your case quickly and persuasively. After each speech, judges may ask related questions.”

The top three in each event will continue onto the Bedford, Blair and Fulton County Area FFA competition on March 31st at Central Cove High School.

Tyrone Area FFA Chapter was represented by six talented students: Olivia Barr, Noah Irvin, Mariah Simondale, Maddie Veit, Maddie Branstetter, and Katrina Hagenbuch.  Jacey Whitcomb, MaKenna LaRosa, David Conrad and Reilly Ronan served as escorts and timers for the numerous events.

“This was really scary at first, but as soon as I started talking I got comfortable and realized public speaking is something I like to do and cannot wait to compete next year,” replied Maddie Veit.

The placings are as follows:

  • Creed – Olivia Barr, 3rd place; Noah Irvin, 4th place.
  • Senior Prepared – Mariah Simondale (Is It Worth Your Life? – Requiring Helmets when Riding Horses), 3rd place; Maddie Veit (FFA Members and Their Best Practices – How FFA Members Should React to Organizations that Think FFA Members Don’t Treat Their Animals Well), 4th place; and Maddie Branstetter (Slaughterhouse and Factory Farms), 6th place.
  • Extemporaneous Public Speaking – Katrina Hagenbuch, 1st place