November 14, 2022


Holland, MI- Students in the Agricultural and Animal Science program at Careerline Tech Center, a service of Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, won the Michigan Future Farmers of America (FFA) Broiler Contest held November 2 - 4 in Fowlervilleand three teams placed in the top 15.

FFA winners

Pictured L – R: Charlotte Binkley, Claire Helder, Ali Rathjen, Liz Russell, BayLeigh Watson, Nicole VanDyk

Tony McCaul, Agricultural and Animal Science instructor for CTC, said students use skills required for any aspect of the agriculture industry to monitor and raise the chickens for five weeks. “While working with the birds,  students learn through the hands-on experience all 11 growth factors including feed, proper temperature and health status through record keeping,” McCaul said. “I am very proud of this team, they worked extremely hard and followed our industry standards in raising birds and it paid off with being named the State Winner.”

The winning team consisted of:

  • Charlotte Binkley 12th grade, West Ottawa High School 
  • Claire Helder 11th grade, Holland Christian Schools
  • Ali Rathjen 11th grade,  Zeeland West High School
  • Liz Russell 12th grade, Jenison High School
  • BayLeigh Watson 12th grade, Hudsonville Unity Christian High School
  • Nicole VanDyke 11th grade, Zeeland East High School

In total, eight CTC teams placed in the top 50 out of 161 entries. The competition also helps students learn more about animal husbandry, science, and mathematics while providing real-world experiences by raising the biggest birds possible using safe and ethical industry recommendations.  

"I'm so proud of my group, we worked very hard and it paid off,” said Binkley. “I'll never forget looking at my group members in disbelief. We are so happy and special thanks to Mr. McCaul for his guidance." 

Careerline Tech Center 

Operated by Ottawa Area ISD, Careerline Tech Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow's workforce by providing career and technical education in more than 25 career areas. CTC serves students from public and private high schools, as well as those who are homeschooled, within the following local school districts: Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Hamilton, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Saugatuck, Spring Lake, West Ottawa, and Zeeland.