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Two Woodburn freshmen's research project will go on to National FFA which, if selected, will allow them to represent Oregon at the National FFA Agriscience Fair in Indianapolis.

COURTESY PHOTO: SETH STODDARD - Woodburn High School freshmen Sulwyn DeCrozuc (left) and Midori Erwin earned first-place honors in their division at the Oregon FFA State Agriscience Fair for their "Drip or Drown" hydroponic lettuce experiment.The Woodburn FFA made history at the Oregon FFA State Convention in Redmond over spring break.

Two ninth-grade FFA members, Sulwyn DeCrozuc and Midori Erwin, conducted a hydroponic lettuce experiment, titled "Drip or Drown," which compared two hydroponic lettuce-growing methods to address food insecurity. They presented their findings in the Oregon FFA State Agriscience Fair, winning first place in their division and scoring highest among all other plant-related projects. Their research project will go on to National FFA which, if selected, will allow Erwin and DeCrozuc the opportunity to represent Oregon at the National FFA Agriscience Fair in Indianapolis.

According to Seth Stoddard, Woodburn FFA adviser and agriscience teacher, this is the first time Woodburn has competed in the Agriscience Fair.

"Food insecurity is the driving force behind everything we do in the Woodburn agriscience program," he said in an email. "In fact, we are converting our greenhouse over to sustainable food production systems like aquaponics and hydroponics. I am thrilled that Sulwyn and Midori chose to research a topic that addresses hunger, and that they risked boldly by competing in a career development event that no other Woodburn FFA member had ever attempted.

"Since returning from State Convention," Stoddard continued, "many other FFA members are planning their own agriscience research projects. Their enthusiasm for agriscience and finding solutions for food insecurity is heartwarming."

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