The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

January 14, 2014

Danville FFA quartet earns Keystone degrees

DANVILLE — Four Danville High School members of the FFA have received Keystone Degrees.

They were presented during the FFA convention at the Pennsylvania Farm Show to Easton Latranyi, Kolby Whitenight, Connor DeFacis and Brianna Wells.

In order to receive the degree, the seniors had to accumulate 600 hours of supervised agricultural science experience or have $1,000 productively invested in a project, said high school agricultural science teacher Kelly Smith-Wells.

They also had to have two years’ experience in agricultural science classes.

They received a plaque and a charm on a chain they will wear with their dress FFA outfits.

Easton, 18, is president of the Danville FFA. He spent 300 hours works at Boy Scout Camp Lavigne and restored a 1977 CJ5. His uncle, Erik Latranyi, of the Danville area, had purchased the vehicle. “I spent a lot of hours restoring it,” Easton said. A couple of friends helped with the restoration.

A son of Mark and Diane Latranyi of Rush Township, he plans to study mechanical engineering.

The Danville FFA vice president, Kolby, 18, said he received the degree for working five years in the family business — Whitenight’s Farm Market — where he transplanted and watered flowers, maintained the greenhouse and planted crops, including corn, soybeans, pumpkins and a few vegetables.

He also helped Connor build a storage shed.

He is a son of Brian Whitenight and April Shuman, of Riverside. Following graduation, he plans to work and save his money. He expects to attend school to become an auto or diesel mechanic.

Connor, 18, and Kolby constructed the 10-foot by 12-foot wooden shed behind the high school, which has been moved to Connor’s Riverside home. A son of Kelly and Kerry DeFacis, He also worked last summer for the Danville district’s maintenance department. He spent more than 300 hours working at all the schools with a big part of his employment helping to reopen the Danville Middle School.

He has been accepted into the welding program at Triangle Tech.

Brianna, 18, is a daughter of Smith-Wells and Robert Wells, of Derry Township.

Hours for her award were spent working on the family farm, which includes horses, pigs, cats and goats. She did most of her work with horses where she cleaned their stalls, fed and rode them.

She also did two research projects. She wanted to learn if mice have taste sensations similar to humans and tested tomato and pepper plants to see which grew the best in four different colors of mulch. She found some grew better in red mulch. The mice research wasn’t conclusive.

In FFA, she serves as sentinel and previously was the chapter’s reporter. She plans to study licensed practical nursing at Fortis Institute in Scranton.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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