Jessie Lewis

Jessie Lewis, left, accepts the Section 25 FFA proficiency plaque from Section 25 President Jori Oliver at the district conference in Mt. Vernon.

Jessie Lewis was selected as the state FFA proficiency winner in agriscience research — plant systems. Lewis is a member of the Massac County FFA Chapter of the Illinois Association FFA. Illinois FFA recognizes students in 50 different areas based on their work-based learning, also known as Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE).

FFA members who demonstrate outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through record keeping, leadership, and scholastic achievement may be considered for this award.

SAEs allow students to learn by doing by either owning and operating an agricultural business, working or serving an internship at an agriculture-based business or conducting an agriculture-based scientific experiment and reporting results.

“My SAE consisted of research with hydroponic systems. I take care of two hydroponic systems in which I grew a multitude of plants. I have experimented with pH and nutrient availability to find the best growing situation for each plant. I have also experimented with beneficial bacteria to find the harmful and helpful effect on plant growth. I plan to keep my towers running and keep experimenting for as long as possible. This SAE has allowed me to gain needed knowledge as I go to college this fall to major in plant and soil science,” said Lewis.

Lewis was selected as the state winner by a committee of agriculture teachers knowledgeable in this work-based area, who reviewed their records online and then conducted virtual interviews from their homes and offices throughout the state.

Lewis is the daughter of David Lewis and Kathleen (Foss) Cohoon from Metropolis.

Receiving this award now makes Lewis eligible to compete in the National FFA Awards Selection process in July 2020. Lewis was previously chosen as the Chapter, Section and District awardee is this area.

She has been involved in the following other agriculture education and FFA activities: Section 25 treasurer, Massac County Chapter vice-president, STAR conference, state forestry CDE, horse CDE, soil judging CDE (1st place Section 25 individual), job interview (1st place Section 25 individual), annual Boston butt fundraiser, Section 25 class visits, LTS, Jake Sellers benefit lunch, public speaking CDE, horticulture CDE, ag mechanics CDE. Jenny Bergmann and Cody Smith are the agriculture teachers and FFA advisors at Massac County High School.

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