By Tammy Minnigh • Staff Writer

MONTEREY — Four Highland High School students took a top award at the state Future Farmers of America contest last week.
Erin Brendel, Ethan Moore, Colton Williams, and Cayden Roberson won first place in team agricultural sales and will go on to the national competition in October.
Scott Wells, who coached the team with Cappie Hull and Colby Jackson, was able to advise them on their topic of selling tree seedlings based on his 30 years with the U.S. Forest Service.
Brendel also took first place in individual agricultural sales.
Brendel, Roberson, and Carly Thomas received their state FFA degrees. “That is as far as you can advance as a student in the FFA hierarchy,” Wells explained.
Thomas was selected to fill the office of FFA state treasurer. She will postpone college for one year to fulfill her new duties, including traveling around Virginia to teach local FFA officers about business principles. 
Thomas also received a proficiency award in agricultural communications.
At the middle school level, Hunter Baldwin and Kristina Neil won red ribbons in ag mechanics, and Mary Anne Rogers won a gold ribbon in ag science and technology.