In mid-December, high school students from Battle Ground Public Schools’ Center for Agriculture, Science and Environmental Education (CASEE) program placed first at a Future Farmers of America (FFA) forestry career development event (CDE) competition.

Hosted by the Grays Harbor College (GHC) Forestry and Natural Resources program, students from all across Washington competed in the eighth annual event at the GHC forest located at the Satsop Business Park.

The competition took place across two separate venues. During the indoor competition, students interpreted forestry maps and then identified trees, tree disorders, equipment and chainsaws. This indoor portion of the competition that tested the students individually.

The competition shifted outdoors for the latter half of the day. Upon entering the GHC forest, the participating schools competed as teams in compass and cruising practicums. Students used compasses to learn navigation techniques and measured trees by height and diameter at breast height, which is the standard practice of cruising timber. Student volunteers from the forest technology program at GHC monitored each station and helped answer the high school students’ questions.

Once the college volunteers tallied up the competition results, participants gathered in the main hall for the awards presentation. Overall, 14 teams comprising 62 competitors from 12 high schools competed in the event.

The top five teams placed as follows:

1. CASEE (part of the Battle Ground Public Schools district)
2. Cedarcrest High School
3. Puyallup High School
4. Toutle Lake High School
5. Longview High School