Atwater FFA Earns Top Honors at Chico State Skills Competition
Twelve Atwater High School FFA judging teams composed of fifty-three students traveled to the 2018 Chico State – Butte College FFA Field Day and Le Grand FFA Field Day to join 2400+ other high school agriculture students from all over California, Oregon, and Washington competing in various agriculture skills and industry-related career development event contests. The Poultry team led the pack with 1st place team finish with the Atwater FFA Milk Quality and Dairy Foods (2nd overall), Marketing Plan (2nd overall), Soil and Land Evaluation (3rd overall), Nursery Landscape (7th overall), Meats (8th overall), Agronomy (8th overall), Vegetable Crops (9th overall), Ag Mechanics (9th overall), Floriculture (13th overall), and Best Informed Greenhand (13th overall) teams adding to the largest number of students from one school competing at the state university contest.
The Atwater FFA Poultry team placed 1st overall with a team comprised of Ana Lozano (2ndoverall), Emmanuel Mejia (5th overall), Alfredo Elizarraraz, and Stephania Valdovino . The contest blends practical hands-on experiences with a basic knowledge of the poultry industry required for careers in the poultry field. Daniel Lopez, Daniel Narez, Jay Dugdale, and Naomy Gonzalez also competed as an alternates.
The Atwater FFA Milks Quality and Dairy Foods team of Natalie Frontella (4th overall), Callie Norton (5th overall), Anthony Hernandez, and Luke van Warmerdam placed 2nd overall in a contest where students demonstrate their knowledge and skills in milk quality (tasting), cheese identification, real vs imitation dairy foods, and a written exam on the dairy industry. Alyssa Carrillo, Simarjot Gandhoke, and Valerie Carlos also competed as alternates.
The Atwater FFA Marketing Plan team placed 2nd overall in a contest that seeks to effectively prepare students for the opportunities and expectations of the agricultural business workplace. Students seeking careers in agriculture business must develop a high degree of knowledge and skill as well as the capacity to create and present a marketing plan.
The Atwater FFA Soil and Land Evaluation team comprised of Arturo Valdovinos, Audrey Esau, Jose Ruiz, and Michael Bray placed 3rd overall in a contest that helps students gain an understanding of the most basic need for all agricultural pursuits- healthy land on which to grow crops or raise livestock. Participants identify and evaluate soil samples for various indicators, grade plots of land for slope and drainage, and work to determine what type of activity the land would be best suited for.
The Atwater FFA Nursery and Landscape team of Cristal Venegas, Noemi Perez, and Vanessa Varela placed 7th overall in a contest that involves demonstrated knowledge and skills in their plant identification, plant selection & evaluation, transplanting, and written exam on all aspects of horticulture and the horticulture industry.
The Meats judging team of Daisy Flores, Erica Sanchez, Mariah Castro, and Ulyette Curieo placed 8th overall in a contest that involves the evaluation of pork, beef, and lamb carcasses and retail cuts of meat commonly found in supermarkets, quality and yield grading, oral presentations on the meat/carcass evaluations, and a written exam pertaining to the meat industry.
The Atwater FFA Agronomy judging team of Jennifer Velazquez, Luz Soto, and Maria Ruelas placed 8th overall in a contest that involves the study field crops and weeds with students responsible for the identification of nearly 200 crops and plants, seed, bean, and hay evaluation, and an oral presentation pertaining to their evaluations.
The Atwater FFA Vegetable Crops team comprised of Dillon Guillen, Jose Montanez, and Tyler Brawley placed 9th overall in a contest designated to create interest and promote understanding in the vegetable crop industry by providing opportunities for recognition through the demonstration of skills and proficiencies.
The Atwater FFA Ag Mechanics team of Perla Caballero, Juan Abel-Perez, Joel Rojas, Fabian Gonzalez, and Daisy Flores-Mota placed 9th overall in a contest involving hands on application skills in woodworking, electrical, oxy-fuel welding & cutting skills, tool identification, and a written exam on all aspects of agriculture mechanics.
The Atwater FFA Floriculture team of Faith Ceja, Hayley Vargas, Arecele Mauleon, and Kathy Vargas placed 13th overall in a contest that involves plant identification, application of “hands-on” floral arrangements, and industry related floral skills.
The Atwater FFA Best Informed Greenhand (BIG) team placed 13th overall and was led by Jessica Agundis, Lilian Sackett, Lizbeth Arias, and Supveet Gandhok. The contest objectives are to understand the aims, purposes, history, and structure of the Local, State, and National FFA student organizations and know the opportunities it makes available as referenced in the current National FFA Manual and State Constitution.
While all of the above teams competed at Chico State University, the Atwater FFA Ag Mechanics team of Perla Caballero, Juan Abel-Perez, Joel Rojas, Fabian Gonzalez, and Daisy Flores-Mota placed 9th overall in Le Grand as a second state agriculture mechanics contest was created due to high demand and participation. The Ag Mechanics contest involves hands on application skills in woodworking, electrical, oxy-fuel welding & cutting skills, tool identification, and a written exam on all aspects of agriculture mechanics.
The Chico State – Butte College Field Day and the newly created Le Grand FFA Field Day is designed to showcase students’ “hands-on” and technical skills in various agriculture related fields. “Students apply their knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in real-life job skill environments,” said FFA advisor Sam Meredith. “We have a group of students that take tremendous pride towards their work ethic and skill development in a variety of agricultural related skills and occupations.” The FFA judging competitions continue with Merced College, Modesto Junior College, Reedley College, Cosumnes River College, Fresno State University, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo scheduled in the coming two months.
For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org .
Atwater High School Agriculture Department
PO Box 835 / 2201 Fruitland Ave
Atwater, CA 95301