Fallyn Smith of Milton, a 2013 Sussex Technical High School graduate, won first place in the recent Delaware FFA Agriscience Fair. The competition was held at Delaware State University and included more than 35 FFA participants from across the state. Smith's winning project focused on the salinity tolerances of seashore mallow, a perennial plant commonly found growing in brackish marshes.
For her research, Smith studied 12 different varieties of seashore mallow that were collected from areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. She germinated these varieties in varying salinity gradients and documented the plant growth patterns. The ultimate goal of her project is to find and develop a seashore mallow variety that is tolerant to high-saline water in an effort to market it to the biodiesel industry.
Smith entered this project as an extension of her Sussex Tech Senior Project and conducted much of her research at the University of Delaware campus in Lewes as part of her workplace learning placement.
Smith will represent Sussex Tech FFA at the 2013 National FFA Convention, to be held Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 in Louisville, Ky.