On Wednesday, October 3, the Olney FFA Chapter competed in the District V Food Science CDE, at the Southern Illinois University College of Agricultural Sciences, in Carbondale. The Olney FFA Chapter was represented by a varsity team of Lance Mitchell, Madison Michels, Travis Wilke, and Dawson Hawkins. A junior varsity team of Abby Meadows, Nick Baker, and Morgan Puckett also competed.
    The varsity team from Olney placed 2nd out of 9 teams. Individuals placing in the top ten were Lance Mitchell in 3rd, and Madison Michels in 7th out of 36 individuals. The junior varsity team placed 4th out of 11 teams. Top ten individuals for junior varsity were Abby Meadows in 2nd, and Nick Baker in 4th out of 33 individuals.
    The Food Science CDE consisted of five individual practicums and a team project. In the team project, four individuals work as one unit to make a brief marketing plan and determine nutrition facts of a new food product they create based on a list of provided ingredients. The first individual practicum is a written test over general food science knowledge. Another is a math practicum, in which competitors are asked to calculate “real world” math problems regarding food products, such as nutrition facts or ingredient quantities. In the food quality and safety practicum, members were asked to classify consumers’ complaints as food quality or safety, along with a classification of biological, chemical, or physical hazard. In the triangle test practicum, members are given a set of four varieties of a certain food product. One is labeled the control product and the competitor is asked to match the identical product from the remaining three based on visual or flavor differences. The last practicum is the aroma test, in which competitors are asked to identify a certain aroma from a given list.
    When asked about the CDE, Madison Michels said, “My favorite part of the Food Science CDE is the Team Practicum. This portion of the contest allows members to work as a team to create a new food product. I really enjoy seeing members use their individual strengths to help the team.”
    Congratulations to the Olney FFA Food Science team.