North Harford High Student Places First in Nation in FFA Dairy Cattle Handlers’ Event

Sydney O’Dell, senior at North Harford High School

Activity and recognition took place at 88th Annual FFA Convention & Expo


At the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo held in Louisville, KY, from October 28-31, winners of the National FFA Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity were announced during the annual awards luncheon.


Sydney O’Dell, senior at North Harford High School in the Animal Science strand of the Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences (NRAS) magnet program, was named the top FFA Dairy Handler in the country. She placed 1st in the National Dairy Handling Career Development Event and was awarded $300 and a gold FFA medal.


The purpose of the event is to recognize the contributions of the handlers in presenting each animal to its best advantage in the evaluation of the dairy cows and heifers. Skills in dairy cattle handling and herd management are important for successful careers in the dairy industry. Through participation in the Dairy Cattle Handlers Activity, students learn to work with others in a way that is cooperative, courteous and helpful.


In addition, two North Harford High sophomores placed 10th in the Animal System Division 3 of the National Agriscience Fair Contest: Gabrielle Roeder, a student in the Animal Science strand of the NRAS magnet program, and Sarah Burton, a student in the plant science strand of the NRAS magnet program. Gabrielle and Sarah were awarded silver FFA medals.


Sarah Burton, Gabrielle Roeder, Sydney O’Dell
Sarah Burton, Gabrielle Roeder, Sydney O’Dell

“We are proud of the accomplishments and recognition these young ladies earned through their hard work and dedication to the NRAS and the FFA here at North Harford High School,” said Edward Stevens, assistant principal of North Harford High School.


The Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences Magnet is composed of three clusters focusing on Large Animal/Equine Sciences, Plant Sciences, or Natural Resources Sciences. Programs provide students with the opportunity to experience challenging course work and experience science and technology with emphasis on career development and real world application. The Harford County Agricultural Economic Advisory Board, the University of Maryland, Harford Community College, and Harford County Public Schools partner to develop a program where each cluster provides students with the quality background knowledge and skills necessary for continued education or to gain entry into their work based field of choice.



The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 629,367 student members as part of
7,757 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make
a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership,
personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

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