10/31/13 Twins, 17, competing in national FFA Expo
Scott Muthersbaugh / Times-News
Twins Jacy and Graham Kirkpatrick, 17, are in Louisville, Ky., representing Southern Alamance High School in the National Future Farmers of America Convention.
Twins, 17, competing in national FFA Expo
Graham and Jacy Kirkpatrick have their own specialties, but share a love of the outdoors
By Isaac Groves The Times-News 10/31/13
Reprinted with permission.
GRAHAM — Jacy and Graham Kirkpatrick do not have that much in common, besides their birthdays, parents, eyes, the Southern Alamance High School Future Farmers of America chapter and the FFA National Championships.
The 17-year-old twins are in Louisville, Ky., for the 86th National FFA Convention & Expo for their national competitions.
He is on the forestry team that worked its way through regionals and state competition to go to the nationals. She did it with the horse judging team. So how different are they? “I don’t like horses,” Graham said. Jacy said Graham used to ride too, because twins do a lot of things together until they get old enough not to. Now, he likes working outside and hunting. She stuck with horses.
“I’ve had horses for about 10 years,” Jacy said, turning to her brother. “And why did you go with trees?”
Graham said he thought it could be a good skill to have when school was over.
“You measure trees and see how many board feet,” Graham said, “and tell somebody how much money is in a plot of woods.”
Five FFA career-development teams — agronomy, f oriculture, nursery and landscape, forestry and horse judging — advanced to the Expo in Louisville, which started Wednesday and runs through Saturday. That is the most teams from just one North Carolina school ever to go to the nationals.
The forestry competition, Graham said, means identifying trees, knowing pulp wood versus saw timber,and knowing his tools.
Jacy said she has to judge different classes of horses and explain her answers.
“It’s best if you get close to what the judge said,” Jacy said. “If you have a good argument that isn’t too crazy, then you’ll still do OK.”
Neither of the Kirkpatricks have much to say about interests outside school. In school, Graham plays left guard on the varsity football team and shoots on the hunter safety team. He was the only freshman ever to make the team.
Jacy is the yearbook editor and serves as president of the FFA chapter. Of course, both of them compete with FFA.
There probably is not much time for much of anything outside school
— except target shooting. Jacy said that is one thing they do together. She said she is a beginner. Graham, of course, has been at it for years.
Graham was not sure he wanted to join FFA as a freshman, but he said he is glad he did if only to get to know the people involved.
Jacy said FFA has given her opportunities to travel to places like Washington and Louisville for competition and leadership conferences.
She has applied to several colleges, but Jacy is hoping for N.C. State University, possibly to study environmental science.
Probably agribusiness for Graham, he said, or construction management. He wants to go to Wake Technical Community College or N.C. State.