ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — In the FFA room at Southern Alamance High School banners line the walls showing their success in national competitions.

This year, the agriculture sales team is hoping to add one more. The team recently won the FFA state competition in ag sales and they say it was no easy task.

“It was a lot of work. We spent a ton of hours practicing Saturday mornings. We would get up and be here at 8:00 AM. We would stay till after lunch. We would spend nights here until 9:00 PM. A lot of hours went into practicing,” Emma Evans, a junior, said.

The event has many different elements. The team has to sell a product to the judges, but they don’t find out what that product is until a few weeks before the competition.

“So we actually put a binder together with all of the information that we can get. And then the most important part is really running through it with each other. We sell to each other as though we’re judges. As though we’re clients and as a salesperson and that’s what really helps us,” senior Julia Allred said.

For some of the team members, this was their first time competing because of the pandemic. “I practiced for my freshman year, but with COVID I never got to compete and I had a lot of fun practicing and we were actually supposed to compete the next day. Um, but then it got canceled,” Elayna DiLello said.

The competitions were shut down for two years.

“Since I began this competition, I’ve definitely learned how to relate to people better. I have much better interpersonal skills when related to new people, especially clients on sales calls,” Allred said.

“The will to win is great, but the will to prepare to win is greater. So you gotta work hard,” Nick Anders, Southern Alamance High School’s FFA advisor said.