Lowndes High student wins national FFA award - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes High student wins national FFA award

November 7, 2002

Valdosta - "Do genetically altered plants have the photosynthetic capability of standard plants?" This sounds like a question for Einstein, but to Paul Ruddle, the answer's easy.

"I first became interested in the genetic altering of plants about three years ago, then I started conducting my research at various agricultural sites around the southwest and went from there," said Ruddle.

Of 160 FFA competitors from all over the country, Ruddle's complex project stood above the rest and won him the National Agri-Science title. It's pretty difficult for the average person to understand. Ruddle's instructors say his project left even the Afgr-Science fair judges with questions.

"Several of the judges didn't understand the complexity of it at first, but when they listened closer, they realized how talented he was," said James Corbett, FFA Instructor. "They said he was a head and shoulders above the rest of the competition."

While nearly 200 competitors would make most students a bundle of nerves, it didn't put a dent in Ruddle's confidence.

"I was a little nervous when I first got to competition but I thought my project was the best and hoped it was what the judges were looking for," said Ruddle.

The judges agreed with Ruddle, awarding him the national title and a large cash prize. And he's already at work preparing for next year's project - genetic altering and photosynthesis in corn and cotton plants.

posted at 3:30 by ashley.harper@walb.com