Brody Sansom, Newsome High School senior, holding the ribbons he won at the Safe Tractor Operation and Maintenance CDE districts.

In the seventh grade, when Lithia resident Brody Sansom took his very first ag class, it sparked an interest, which helped shape his FFA (Future Farmers of America) journey. Sansom, who is a senior and FFA student at Newsome High School, had the opportunity to compete in the Safe Tractor Operation and Maintenance CDE (Career Development Event) contest. All of his time and dedication led to a positive outcome, as he won the sub-districts and districts.

Sansom shared how he felt about competing in this contest.

“This was an awesome chance for me to make sure I represent not only my teachers but also the whole FFA chapter to the best of my ability,” Sansom said.

In order to participate in this contest, the student must be an active member of a chartered Florida FFA chapter and enrolled in grades nine through 12. The Safe Tractor Operation and Maintenance CDE contest is designed to develop the ability of all FFA members to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the maintenance and safe operation of tractors.

Kenneth Hiscock, ag advisor at Newsome High School, stated what it takes to become successful in this particular contest: “The students begin practicing for it about 2-3 months out, which includes studying in the book to learn all of the different aspects of the tractor and more.”

The Newsome High School FFA offers all kinds of CDE programs that the students can get involved in other than tractor driving. Hiscock said that FFA is a big part of promoting growth and development leadership, and it is also a building block for those students to gain more confidence.

Sansom has a bright future ahead of him. This fall, he will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, located in Daytona Beach, to earn a degree in unmanned aircraft systems. Sansom also hopes to go into the Air Force to serve his country.

For more information about Newsome High School FFA, visit To learn more about the Florida FFA Association, visit

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Tatiana Ortiz
Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.