Natick Teens Help Keefe Win at State Convention
Two Natick students were part of a four-member Keefe Tech team that nabbed a silver medal at the State Future Farmers of America Convention.
Press release submitted by Keefe Regional Technical High School in Framingham.
A team of four students representing the Keefe Regional Technical School Landscape and Design career technical program won a silver medal at the Massachusetts State Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention, held March 12-14 in Sturbridge.
The Keefe Tech team was composed of the top Landscape and Design students from each grade. Team members were freshman Francesco DeCenso of Framingham, sophomore Isaiah Millay of Hopkinton, junior JT Locke of Natick, and senior Wilfredo DeJesus of Natick.
The team from Keefe Tech competed in the Nursery and Landscape Competition at the state FFA convention, which consisted of different stations that required team problem solving, plant, tool, and insect identification, and project design. Facing off against 14 other teams from across the state, Keefe’s team was awarded a silver medal for fourth place. In addition to its medal, the team was also presented with a 100 Percent Student Participation Award and the FFA Chapter Growth Award.
“I am very proud of our students. This event is highly competitive and they put in a lot of extra time studying to win a silver medal in this competition. They wanted to make an impression and they sure did,” said Landscape and Design Instructor Doug Paul.
Founded in 1928, FFA is a national organization dedicated to teaching that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting; it’s a science, a business, and an art.
“It was a blessing to place at the competition. It’s always nice to have your hard work noticed,” said DeJesus. After graduation, DeJesus will attend UMass Amherst to study Landscape Contracting and Business, and hopes to operate his own landscaping business one day.
“We had to identify plants, design landscape blueprints, and winning felt great. It was a great accomplishment,” said Isaiah Millay, who represented the sophomore class on his team.
The Keefe Tech Landscape and Design career technical program provides students with training opportunities in all aspects of the Green Industry. The curriculum stresses the study of landscape management, plant and soil science, floriculture, turf management, safe operation of construction and landscaping equipment, small engine repair, green house management, arboriculture care and plant propagation. Students practice their skills throughout the school campus by maintaining the grounds, including the athletic fields, planting flowers and shrubbery, and operating the landscaping equipment around campus.