More than 50,000 students are in Indianapolis this week attending the National FFA Convention. Among them are five DMPS high school students competing for national honors.

The Des Moines FFA Vet Science team placed first in the state this past spring. In fact, they didn’t just win but swept the top four spots at the state event. The team will face the winners from 45 other states this week in Indianapolis.

DMPS and Des Moines FFA will be represented by:

  • Trinity Barth (Lincoln)
  • Liliann Tjaden (Roosevelt)
  • Rubi Padilla-Vazquez (Lincoln)
  • Leslie Cisneros (North)
  • Oyuky Smith (Hoover) – alternate

At the National FFA Convention, the competition will take place over two days. Kevin Anderson, the animal science instructor at Central Campus and FFA advisor, said the competition include things such as testing on animal anatomy and physiology, health and safety, medical terminology, veterinary math application, clinical procedures, and a team presentation. This year’s contest revolves around canine/feline general care and equine handling.

We caught up with the team at the DMPS agriculture facility on the southside of Des Moines as they were making some final preparations before hitting the road for Indiana. Trinity, Liliann, Rubi, Leslie and Oyuky practiced filling syringes, giving injections (to stuffed animals), muzzling animals, and identifying the organs inside the model of a dog. In addition Mr. Anderson’s own dog, Beau, was on hand and, for a treat or two, was a willing volunteer to help the team get ready.

In addition to their studies at Central Campus and participation in FFA, the team had support from mentors. A thank you to Chloe Catron and the staff at Indianola Vet Clinic, who trained the students in small animal care, and Sondra Feldstein, who taught them equine care.

Photos of the Des Moines FFA Vet Science Team
Des Moines FFA Vets Science Team Heads to Nationals

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