Gracie Cobb, Landon Pottebaum, Ava Rakers and Avery Ridgley teamed up to make some spicy ketchup for the food science career development event on the first day of the Missouri FFA Convention on April …
Gracie Cobb, Landon Pottebaum, Ava Rakers and Avery Ridgley teamed up to make some spicy ketchup for the food science career development event on the first day of the Missouri FFA Convention on April 20.
The following day, the Montgomery County FFA students received a big prize for its work. They finished third out of 23 teams in the contest.
“We looked at everybody else's scores and we did the best by a pretty large margin on the team activity,” Pottebaum said. “That was our strong suit the whole season. We worked together really well as a team. We did good at the individual stuff, too.”
Palmyra and Republic finished ahead of MCHS in the food science competition. Monroe City and Trenton placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
“I think it was really exciting because our team worked so hard at it,” said Ridgley, who earned a first-place finish in the Division II prepared public speaking leadership development event.
The food science event gave students the opportunity to learn about developing food products, presenting food and issues with food safety. Pottebaum said the event starts off with an individual competition in which all participants take a test that includes questions on workplace safety and math.
There were 89 participants in the individual competition. Ridgley placed the highest out of the four MCHS members, coming in sixth. Rakers was 12th, Pottebaum was 33rd and Cobb was 72nd.
“The top eight teams that scored the best in the individual portion got to move on and present to a slate of judges,” Pottebaum said. “We received a scenario. We had to make the product, market the product and design a production facility and pretty much give a presentation. We had an hour to do that and there were 15 minutes of questions.”
The MCHS students’ project was called Sweet and Sassy Ketchup. Pottebaum made the ketchup, which included red cayenne pepper and sweet chili sauce.
“I had to put it in a jar,” said Pottebaum, a sophomore. “We have a list of container sizes. I had to make a label for the jar and make it look like we were selling it and what it would be like at a store.”
Ridgley worked on math problems for the nutritional information, while Rakers and Cobb made a marketing poster.
The four students received their award during a ceremony at the convention, which was held at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Hearnes Center. Cobb said she was thrilled to earn an award in her freshman year.
“I think it was really cool because I was on a team that put a lot of effort into this,” Cobb said. “I think we deserved to get this far because we worked so hard.”
Rakers, a sophomore, said besides getting the third-place award, she also enjoyed visiting the two-day convention.
“It was super fun,” Rakers said. “There were a whole bunch of vendors there that you go and talk to different colleges and stuff. You get free stuff. There were a lot of different activities that you can do at the convention.”
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