Four Pettisville FFA members are national finalists


Jessie McWatters swabs a slide while working on her agriscience fair testing.

Jessie McWatters swabs a slide while working on her agriscience fair testing.


This year the Pettisville FFA had four members that are National Finalists for their Agriscience fair and proficiency projects. These people include Jessie McWatters, Madeleine Wixom, Delana Damman, and Olivia Rossman. Jessie and Madeleine will compete individually with their proficiency projects and Delana and Olivia will compete as a team with their Agriscience fair project.

Because of the coronavirus, the National Convention will be held as a virtual event, so they will be submitting videos that will be judged.

Over the last four years of her high school experience, McWatters has worked on various animal science research projects. Her projects included “Do people really know what they are drinking”, “The Effects of Various Antibiotics on Bovine Respiratory Disease”, “How the Age of the Calves Affected the Amount of Cryptosporidium Present”, “The effect Cryptosporidium had on the health and growth of the calf”.

For Jessie’s project freshman year, she competed with a project titled “Do people really know what they are drinking”. During this project she studied the different kinds of milk that people drink and what is actually in them. During her sophomore year, she competed with a project called “The Effects of Various Antibiotics on Bovine Respiratory Disease”. During this project she studied two deceased calves-under the supervision of a veterinarian-one that died from natural causes and one from Bovine Respiratory Disease.

During her junior year, Jessie competed with a project called “How the Age of the Calves Affected the Amount of Cryptosporidium Present”. During this project, she studied Cryptosporidium, a parasite found in calves, and how they are affected by it based on their age. During her senior year, she completed a project about the “the effect Cryptosporidium had on the health and growth of the calf”. During her research of this project, Jessie studied how Cryptosporidium affected calves’ growth and overall health.

Madeleine Wixom competed with a proficiency in the area of Wildlife Management. With over five years of time in her project, she has done many different projects through her proficiency. She started off doing small, unpaid maintenance jobs, and by the end of her five years she was creating management plans for a new 1-acre pond she stocked and managed. Madeleine is now studying wildlife management at Hocking College.

Delana Damman and Olivia Rossman competed with their science fair project studying the effects of magnetism on the growth of various plants. For these first year FFA members, it is their first time doing a science fair project, and they have already had great success. They have one of the top 12 projects in the nation in their category of Plant Sciences.

Jessie, Madeleine, Delana and Olivia all had to film videos which will be submitted to judges for the competition. They all filmed a video explaining their projects or proficiencies to the judges. Normally at the National Convention, the participants would sit in a room with the rest of the national finalists in their division and give a 2-minute overview of their project to the judges. Those competing in the science fair would give a 5-minute presentation of their project to 4 or 6 judges. Those competing with proficiencies would have a 15-minute question and answer interview with the judges.

After having completed the interview, both will get scored. Their score comes from the points given on the paper and the points given during the interview. They are then placed based on their combined score.

We wish all of our participants the best of luck as they compete at the National level. They have all put so much time and dedication into their projects and represent the Pettisville FFA chapter well.

Clara Damman,

Pettisville FFA reporter

Jessie McWatters swabs a slide while working on her agriscience fair testing.
https://www.fcnews.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/45/2020/10/web1_Picture-1-Pettisville-FFA-Jessie-McWatters-1-.jpgJessie McWatters swabs a slide while working on her agriscience fair testing.