Atwater High School Agriculture Department
PO Box 835 / 2201 Fruitland Ave
Atwater, CA 95301
Atwater FFA Wins Cotton Judging State Championship
The Atwater High School FFA Cotton team won the 2018 California FFA State Championship during the California Career Development Event (CDE) Cotton Judging State Championships held at Fresno State University on November 3rd. “We take tremendous pride towards the fact our program continues to expand opportunities for students to be successful,” said FFA advisor Natalie Borba. “We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the continuous support given by our school, district, community, and local agriculture industry that allows opportunities such as this available to our students.”
The Atwater FFA Cotton team was led by Michael Bray (1st overall in the state), Emmanuel Mejia, Luz Soto, and Simarjot Gandhoke. Cotton judging involves six main components spread out in a variety of categories and/or classes. The first area is the evaluation of the cotton plants based on uniformity, market yield, and balance. Cotton seeds are evaluated on maturity, lack of trash or foreign materials, uniformity, and quality. Cotton bolls are evaluated on color, size, lack of trash or foreign material, and uniformity. Cotton lint is evaluated on color, quality (free of naps or nips), and the lack of trash or foreign material. Students are also required to give oral reasons to a judge to communicate and justify their class placings. The final aspect is a written exam on the cotton industry and practices utilized within the industry.
The Atwater FFA Cotton “B” team also earned high marks placing 2nd overall with Kaya Briscoe-Mattis placing 3rd high individual overall, Emma Garcia placing 6th overall, and Sabrina Lopez placing 11th overall. Hanford High School, Exeter High School, O’Neals-Minarets High School, and Corcoran High School were the other top schools at the contest.
With there being no National FFA competition, the Atwater FFA Cotton Judging Team will join other FFA members in Washington DC next November as has been done with previous Atwater FFA state championship Career Development Event (CDE) teams. “The students worked hard, were committed, and made sacrifices in terms of putting in the time associated with preparing and working towards this accomplishment,” said Borba. “They get the opportunity to experience the rewards of their efforts and accomplishment associated with being a state champion!”
There are over 89,000 high school agriculture students in California representing over 335 high school agriculture programs, and the success of the Atwater FFA agriculture program can be attributed to the agriculture pathway sequence of courses at Atwater High School, the increased student involvement, and student participation outside of the classroom.
For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website www.AtwaterFFA.org .