Atwater High School Agriculture Department
PO Box 835 / 2201 Fruitland Ave
Atwater, CA 95301
Atwater FFA Earns Top Honors at Chico State Skills Competition
Eleven Atwater High School FFA judging teams composed of forty-three students traveled to the 2019 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 Floriculture and marketing Plan teams led the pack with 3rdplace team finishes with the Atwater FFA Poutlry, Nursery and Landscape, Agronomy, Meats, Milk Quality and Dairy Foods, Vegetable Crops, Small Engines, Soil and Land Evaluation, and Ag Mechanics teams adding to the largest number of students from one school competing at the state university contest.
The Atwater FFA Floriculture team placed 3rd overall with a team comprised of Arely Venegas (2nd overall), Hayley Vargas (5th overall), Faith Ceja, and Marissa Nuno. The contest involves plant identification, application of “hands-on” floral arrangements, and industry related floral skills.
The Marketing Plan team placed 3rd overall with a team comprised of Kiah Briscoe, Anessa Cardenas, and Megan Escobar. The contest 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 Poultry team placed 4th overall with a team comprised of Stephania Valdovinos (2nd overall), Emmanuel Mejia, Daniel Lopez, and Alfredo Elizarraraz. The contest blends practical hands-on experiences with a basic knowledge of the poultry industry required for careers in the poultry field. Gabriella Lucas, Galilea Avalos, Mariah Castro, and Richard DelaRosa also competed as an alternates.
The Atwater FFA Nursery and Landscape team of Cristal Venegas, Vanessa Varela, Daniel Narez, and Stefani Sanchez placed 4th 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 Atwater FFA Agronomy judging team placed 5th overall with a team comprised of Elisabeth Garner, Felicity Garcia, Gurkirath Gandhok, and Luz Soto (5th overall individually). The 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 Meats judging team of Erika Silva, Iysis Yillafan, Jaimie Colores, and Daniel Junez placed 7th 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. Adriana Lopez also competed as an alternate.
The Atwater FFA Milk Quality and Dairy Foods team of Anthony Hernandez, Logan Hazel, Natalie Frontella, and Valerie Carlos placed 8th 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 and Faith Johnson also competed as alternates.
The Atwater FFA Vegetable Crops team comprised of Jose Montanez, Cheyenne Borba, Supreet Gandhok, and Vincent Gonzalez placed 11th 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 Small Engines team of Jonathan Velazquez and Jose Vazquez placed 14th overall in a that challenges students with their skills and knowledge in small engine tool and part identification, engine theory, problem solving, and hands-on engine troubleshooting and repair.
The Atwater FFA Soil and Land Evaluation team comprised of Sabrina Lopez, Estrella Venacio, and Kelly Alcarazin participated in a workshop that helped students gain skills and an understanding of the most basic need for all agricultural pursuits- healthy land on which to grow crops or raise livestock. Participants identified and evaluated 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.
While all of the above teams competed at Chico State University, the Atwater FFA Ag Mechanics team Juanabel Perez, Moira Conway, Jose Ruiz, and Thomas Gardner 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 .