Atwater High School Agriculture Department
PO Box 835 / 2201 Fruitland Ave
Atwater, CA 95301
Atwater FFA Earns Top Honors at UC Davis and West Hills College Competitions
Over 3300+ California high school agriculture students representing nearly 200 high schools throughout the state of California competed at the UC Davis and West Hills College FFA Field Days. The March 3rd weekend jump started the 2018 FFA judging season where the Atwater FFA judging teams start anew with their sites toward the 2018 state championships in late April and early May. “We have an expanded number of skill-based Career Development Event (CDE) teams and a record number of students participating,” said Atwater FFA advisor and coach Dave Gossman.
The Atwater FFA Poultry team earned a 2nd place finish overall at UC Davis. The team was led by Ana Lozano (1st overall), Ammanuel Mejia, Sayra Ramos, and Stephania Valdovinos. Other Atwater FFA members Gabriella Lucas, Hannah Carrillo, Olivia Cone, and Stephanie Anguiano competed as alternates. The contest blends practical hands-on experiences with a basic knowledge of the poultry industry required for careers in the poultry field.
Atwater FFA competed in a CDE contest called Farm Business Management for the first time. The team comprised of Belinda Espinoza, Liliana Vargas, Ricardo Ortega, and Zion Brigham placed 5th overall. Catalina Diaz also competed as a team alternate. The Farm Business Management CDE helps students learn business skills and apply economic principles to agricultural businesses. Contest focus areas include business record keeping, depreciable property, and tax management.
The Meats judging team earned a 5th place finish overall with a team composed of Emily Junez, Daisy Flores, Julian Castro, and Mariah Castro. Other Atwater FFA members Erika Silva, Jaime Colores, and Ulyette Curiel competed as team alternates. The Meats contest 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 Soil and Land Evaluation judging team earned a 6th place team finish overall at West Hills College and was led by Michael Bray, Audrey Esau, Jose Ruiz, and Arturo Valdovinos. The contest involves the evaluation and interpretation of soils and soil profiles. Students analyze various soil pits and determine soil texture, water holding capacity, and erosion characteristics while associated the data with agriculture applications.
The Atwater FFA Agronomy judging team earned an 7th place team finish overall with a team consisting of Elisabeth Garner, Jennifer Velasquez, Luz Soto, and Maria Ruelas. Flor Agundis also competed as a team alternate. The Agronomy contest 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 Advanced Parliamentary Procedure team placed 7th overall with over 48 individual teams throughout California competing at the contest. The team was comprised of Emily Junez, Anessa Cardenas, Michael Bray, Natalie Frontella, Emmanuel Mejia, Callie Norton, Mariah Delgado Castro, and Cristal Venegas. The Atwater FFA Novice Parliamentary team made tremendous improvements and continues to develop. The team was comprised of Nandani Patel, Teresa Cavallaro, Simarjot Gandhoke, Jennifer Velazquez, Isabell Murillo, Jose Vazquez, and and Celeste Chargoy.
The Atwater FFA Nursery and Landscape team earned a 9th place finish at UC Davis with Brissa Garcia, Christina Sandoval, Cristal Venegas, and Noemi Perez leading the team as they 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 Atwater FFA Floriculture team placed 14th overall with a team comprised of Arely Venegas, Dakota Cook, Hayley Vargas, and Marissa Nuno. This was the first major contest for a completely new team as last year’s team won the state championships. The contest involves plant identification, arrangements, and floral skills.
The Atwater FFA Milks Quality and Dairy Foods team comprised of Kendyll Cruz, Natalie Frontella, and Callie Norton competed as alternates as they demonstrated their knowledge and skills in milk quality (tasting), cheese identification, real vs imitation dairy foods, and a written exam on the dairy industry.
The Atwater FFA Best Informed Greenhand (BIG) team earned a strong finish with a team comprised of Jessica Agundis, Supreet Gandhoke, Arias Lizbeth, and Sackett Lilian. 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.
“The FFA judging season is an opportunity for students to showcase their life, industry, critical thinking, and communication skills through hands-on, skill-based applications among their peers from all over California at major colleges and state universities,” said Gossman. “Atwater High School continues to be a top contender and recognized throughout the state as a major player at the year’s competitions.” The competitions continue with Chico State University, Merced College, Modesto Junior College, Cosumnes River College, Reedley 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 .