WINNING TEAM: Makenzie Deputy, from left, Shea Elswick and Katy McFarland of Madison Consolidated High School’s FFA Agriculture Communications team after they captured first place at the FFA state convention in July. (Submitted photo)
WINNING TEAM: Makenzie Deputy, from left, Shea Elswick and Katy McFarland of Madison Consolidated High School’s FFA Agriculture Communications team after they captured first place at the FFA state convention in July. (Submitted photo)
The Agricultural Communications team from Madison Consolidated High School's FFA placed eighth in the nation last weekend at the National FFA Convention in Louisville.

Seniors Makenzie Deputy, Katy McFarland and sophomore Shea Elswick are the team members.

The students worked together to prepare a written media plan to present to the judges. The team came up with the idea for an advertising campaign for the farmers market in downtown Madison.

From there, each member had separate responsibilities. Deputy created an electronic media strategy for the marketing program, Elswick created a press release and McFarland designed a magazine layout.

The team presented their plan, but was then given a similar scenario on the spot. They had to execute the same type of plan within an hour.

Deputy said the event was intimidating.

"It was our first time at ag comm in nationals," she said. "We were going up against people with so much knowledge."

While preparing for the national competition and state competition before it, team members said they spent hours each week preparing.

"I didn't' really expect to put this much time and effort into it," McFarland said. "But we would talk about it in our down time in class and free time"

Elswick, the youngest member of the team, said she picked up several practical skills from working on the communications team.

"I'm not nervous when I make presentations in class anymore," she said.

The girls said they had to improve their public speaking skills, time management and computer skills to prepare for the National Convention.

FFA adviser Amanda Briggs said 26 students from Madison traveled to Louisville.