East Hampton resident on winning agricultural team
By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
East Hampton - posted Thu., Dec. 20, 2012
An East Hampton teen was part of the winning team at the 2012-2013 Connecticut FFA Forestry Career Development Event contest held on Dec. 6. The forestry event, which took place at the Lockwood Farm campus of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, Conn., evaluates the students’ knowledge of forest management practices, tree identification and measurement and industry standards.
Kyle Amtmanis of East Hampton was one of four students on the top-ranking team from the Middletown High Agriculture Science and Technology program, where students can learn animal science, agricultural mechanics, plant science and natural resources, he said.
Amtmanis, a junior, is in the natural resources and department of science program where he learns about ecology, wildlife management, forestry and managing natural resources.
“I’m very interested in the environment,” Amtmanis said. “I want to go into a career protecting the environment.”
Amtmanis and his teammates are all members of the Mattabeset FFA Chapter, the youth leadership organization associated with the Middletown Agriculture Science and Technology program. They got together every Thursday for a couple of months to practice the things they would need to know for the contest, he said.
Courtney Johnson, an agriculture teacher at Amtmanis’ school, said there were 12 teams of four from around the state competing in the contest. Johnson said Amtmanis is hardworking and a pleasure to have in class. "He's an exceptionally bright student," said Johnson.
Amtmanis said the competition is mostly individual and what each team member scores is added up to make the team score. He placed third out of 48 participants, while one of his teammates placed second.
Amtmanis’ team will be representing the state in regional and national competitions this fall at the 2013 Big E Eastern States Exposition and the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
“I think it’s great that they have these opportunities,” said Kyle’s mom, Amanda, who added that she is happy he has gotten the chance to explore a career that interests him.
“He has such a genuine interest in the environment and environmental science,” said Amanda Thomson, an animal science instructor at the high school.