It runs in the family: Adams sisters learn from each other in Hay & Grain competition

The Monticello FFA Chapter held its annual Fall Fest Nov. 7, 2017. Two of the Adams siblings placed in the top five in the Hay & Grain Show. From left are Breanna Adams, first place; Gavin Cooper, second; Kirklen Kiburz, third; Wade Picray, fourth; and Lindsey Adams, fifth. (Express file photo)

Competing in the FFA Hay & Grain Show seems to be a family tradition for the Adams family of Monticello. After seeing their oldest sister, Courtney, compete while in high school, Breanna (left) and Lindsey have gone on to succeed in the competition as well. Now, as a senior, Breanna is passing her experiences down to freshman Lindsey. (Express file photo)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Every year during the Monticello FFA Chapter’s Fall Festival in November, members take part in the popular Hay & Grain Show. This allows the students to show off their best (and worst) ears of corn, photography skills, cooking skills, and best shelled corn/soybeans, just to name a few of the 25 classes. The Hay & Grain Show is all about healthy competition.

     For the 2017 Fall Fest, two sisters placed in the top five: Breanna and Lindsey Adams.

     Taking cues from their older sister Courtney, who also took part in the competition when she was in high school, Breanna and Lindsey were up for the challenge.

     As a senior, this was Breanna’s fourth year exhibiting in the Hay & Grain Show. Lindsey, a freshman, took part for the first time.

     “Any FFA members can participate,” said Breanna. “It gets the members more involved.”

     With 25 categories to take part in, FFA students can enter up to 10.

     “Even one class is fine,” said Lindsey.

     The Adams sisters entered 10 classes this year, and Breanna came away the first-place finisher. Lindsey placed fifth.

     With a love for photography, Lindsey said this was definitely a category she wanted to enter.

     “I like taking pictures and it did pretty well,” Lindsey shared. “It’s about using what you have around the farm.”

     Breanna, who enjoys baking, took the time to make her famous cheesecake dessert. She also entered the photography class.

     “We both did pretty good,” said Breanna.

     Aside from a cheesecake dessert and photography, some of the other classes the Adamses competed in included: art, five best ears of corn, shelled corn/soybeans, flower arrangements (fresh or dried), and ugliest ear of corn.

     “We want to make it so everyone can participate, whether they live on a farm or not,” encouraged Breanna. She said anyone in FFA could bake a dessert or take a photo.

     Breanna said the ugliest ear of corn category tends to be the most popular in terms of entries, and one of the most fun to compete in.

     “It’s a fun category,” she said. “But typically, you want to show off your best ear (of corn).” Breanna took first place in the ugliest ear class, with Lindsey close behind in second place.

     With so many categories to choose from, Breanna said it’s also about being creative with your choices.

     “I like to try different recipes when baking,” she said of the dessert class.

     Lindsey added, “It’s about what you enjoy.” She said when showing off your corn and soybeans, sometimes it depends on how good the harvest season goes.

     Having taken some cues from Courtney, Breanna said she’s now sharing her Hay & Grain Show experiences with Lindsey, who has a few years to compete.

     While it might be easier to compete in the classes in which fewer students enter, Breanna said you can’t always go by the numbers.

     “You want to look at what you have a better option to score high on,” she said.

     With 25 to 30 FFA kids competing overall, the Adams girls said nothing is guaranteed as far as placing.

     “Not everyone enters something,” Breanna said.

     Finishing her last year in FFA in first place in the Hay & Grain Show, Breanna said it’s a nice ending.

     “I’ve really enjoyed my last year, and this is a good finish for me,” she said. “I had high numbers in all of my categories.”

     Last year, she failed to place in the top five, but took fourth place her freshman and sophomore years.

     “There are different judges each year,” Lindsey explained.

     “And different opinions every time,” added Breanna.

     While not everyone comes out on top in the Hay & Grain Show, Lindsey said it’s the experience that really matters.

     In her time in FFA, Breanna served as president her sophomore year, and vice president last year. She said the leadership experience is the biggest gain for her.

     “You learn so much,” she said.

     Both of the Adams girls have been members of the Prairie Hill 4-H Club since fourth grade, and said joining FFA once they hit high school seemed like a natural progression.

     “There are so much experiences you can take part in,” Lindsey said of joining FFA, which includes state and national conference trips. “We just wanted to be involved in ag as much as we could.”

     Breanna offered, “Being raised on a farm, we’re gaining the necessary skills.”

     Having exhibited projects and livestock at the Great Jones County Fair in the past, the Adams family knows a thing or two about hard work, dedication, and responsibility.

     Looking forward to graduation, Breanna plans to attend Iowa State University for Agriculture Studies. She would like to raise her own cattle one day.

     Breanna and Lindsey are the daughters of Chad and Renee Adams of Monticello.


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