Atwater High School Agriculture Department

Atwater FFA

PO Box 835  /  2201 Fruitland Ave

Atwater, CA  95301

Office:  209-357-6025

​Fax:  209-357-6067

Atwater FFA

March 2019

UC Davis Field Day 

Atwater FFA Earns Top Honors at UC Davis and El Capitan Competitions

Over 3300+ California high school agriculture students representing nearly 200 high schools throughout the state of California competed at the UC Davis and El Capitan High School FFA Field Days. The March 2nd weekend jump started the 2019 FFA judging season where the Atwater FFA judging teams start anew with their sites toward the 2019 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 Taylor Helton.

The Atwater FFA Farm Business Management comprised of Zion Brigham (4th overall), Emily Junez, Liliana Vargas, and Simarjot Gandhoke placed 2nd overall. Michael Bray 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 Atwater FFA Poultry team earned a 3rd place finish overall at UC Davis. The team was led by Stephanie Valdovinos, (5th overall), Alfredo Elizarraraz, Emmanuel Mejia, and Daniel Lopez. Other Atwater FFA members Olivia Cone, Katie Lopez, and Mariah Castro 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.

The Atwater FFA Agronomy judging team earned an 5th place team finish overall with a team consisting of Luz Soto (5th overall) Elisabeth Garner, Jennifer Velasquez, and Gurkirath Gandhok. Felicity Garcia 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 Ag Mechanics team joined 12 other high schools at El Capitan High School in Merced who hosted a FFA field day with the weather canceling West Hill College’s contest. Atwater FFA placed 5th overall with a team comprised of Daisy Flores-Mota, Jose Ruiz, Juanabel Perez, Moira Conway, Everett Hill. . 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 Atwater FFA Nursery and Landscape team earned a 6th place finish at UC Davis with Cristal Venegas (3rd overall), Noemi Perez, Stafanie Sanchez, and Vanessa Varela 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. Daniel Narez also competed as an alternate.

The Atwater FFA Milks Quality and Dairy Foods team placed 8th overall with a team comprised of Natalie Frontella (4th overall), Alyssa Carrillo, Anthony Hernandez, and Valerie Carlos. Faith Johnson and Logan Hazel competed as alternates, The contest tests students in their knowledge and skills in milk quality (tasting), cheese identification, dairy vs non-dairy foods, and a written exam on the dairy industry.

The Atwater FFA Vegetable Crops team placed 10th overall with a team comprised of Chelsea Thompson, Cheyenne Borba, Jose Montanez, and Tyler Brawley. The Vegetable Crops contest is designed to create interest and promote understanding in the vegetable crop industry by providing opportunities for recognition through the demonstration of skills and proficiencies. 

The Meats judging team earned a top end finish overall with a team composed of Daniel Junez, Erika Silva, Iysis Villafana, and Jaime Colores. Other Atwater FFA members Celeste Chargoy and Julien Chargoy competed as 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 Advanced Parliamentary Procedure team earned a top finish with nearly 50 individual teams throughout California competing at the contest. The team advanced team was comprised of Emily Junez, Anessa Cardenas, Micheal Bray, Natalie Frontella, Emmanuel Mejia, Cristal Venegas, Simarjot Gandhoke. The Atwater FFA novice team was comprised of Elizabeth Ayala Lopez, Klarithsa Crus Hernandez, Julia Callahan, Reagan Puthuff, Anthony Pitchford, Alyssa Wilson, and Dakarai Valdez. Parliamentary procedure is a set of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies. FFA students throughout California participate in various parliamentary procedure contests where students demonstrate their public speaking, understanding, and implementation of skills.

The Atwater FFA Floriculture team competed with a team comprised of Perla Caballero, Yusdivia Rojo, Hayley Vargas, and Marissa Nuno. This was the first major contest for a new team. The contest involves plant identification, arrangements, and floral skills.

Atwater High School agriculture freshman student Tristan Cardey competed in the FFA Creed contest as as an opportunity to prepare for the regional finals. This event is designed to recognize outstanding FFA members for their ability to present the FFA Creed from memory and answer questions on the meaning and purpose of the FFA Creed.

“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 FFA advisor Dave 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 .