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SEHS senior named FFA national finalist
0823 FFA national finalist
Sarah Lynn Bowser shows off her first-place plaque at the State FFA Convention in Macon in April. - photo by Photo provided

Three years of commitment and hard work on a project has paid off with national recognition for a South Effingham High School student.

SEHS senior Sarah Lynn Bowser has been named a national FFA finalist for her project in the Animal Systems division. Bowser and the 14 other finalists from across the country will compete at the National FFA Convention Oct. 30-Nov. 1 in Louisville, Ky.

Bowser began her Agriscience Fair project as a sophomore in her Basic Agriculture class. Students competing in the Agrisicence Fair conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture and food science industry and present their findings to a panel of judges with a visual display and written report. She won overall champion of the SEHS Agriscience Fair and took her project to the State Agriscience Fair, where she placed second in the Animal Systems division.

Her junior year, Bowser re-designed her experiment and once again attended the State Agriscience Fair, held in conjunction with the State FFA Convention in Macon last April. Her project — titled “Do the learning capabilities of canines decrease with age?” — tested the learning capabilities of puppies versus adults in a variety of dog breeds.

Three basic memory tests concerning long-term, short-term and alternative-choice memory were utilized to measure learning capability, and each subject was scored based on their performance. The scores of each age group were compared and placed through a significance test to determine whether or not there was a statistically-significant difference between the two.

This time, Bowser won first place in the Animal Systems division, which qualified her for national competition. She submitted her written report for judging to the National FFA Organization this summer, and learned recently she had been selected as a finalist.

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, changed its name in 1988 to reflect the growth and diversity of agriculture. There are more than 500,000 FFA members nationwide. The Georgia Association has more than 34,000 members, making it the third-largest association in the nation. The FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success, through agricultural education.

Myria Shipman and Joshua Romain are FFA advisors at South Effingham High School.