Atwater FFA Students Remained Engaged Throughout the Summer
For most high school students, the school year ends the first week of June. For most high school agriculture students, the summer season extends beyond vacation with various agriculture and FFA related events and activities keeping them active and involved.
Getting students involved outside the classroom is a primary focus with the Atwater High School agriculture program. Throughout the spring and summer this past year, over one hundred students raised livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, and swine) at the Merced County Fair. An additional forty students raised and exhibited rabbit and poultry projects, while hundreds of agriculture mechanics (shop) students showcased hundreds of shop projects at the fair. The experience and skills obtained go beyond the animals and the shop. “This is about ‘responsibility’ and a ‘work ethic’,” said FFA advisor Jose Vargas. “For many students, this is a taste of what it’s like in the real world and as an adult.”
During the summer, the Atwater FFA recognizes each year’s most active, hardworking students from the previous school year with an incentive trip centered on recreation and fun. Twenty-eight students spent at the Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. “It’s always rewarding to share a new experience with students involving travel to somewhere they have never gone,” said Atwater FFA advisor Shelby West. Atwater High School students who attended the summer trip included Alyssa Carrillo, Anessa Cardenas, Anna Lozano, Audrey Esau, Callie Norton, Colby Flatt, Cristal Venegas, Daisy Flores-Mota, Dillon Guillen, Emily Junez, Emmanuel Mejia, Gabby Lucas, Grace Reyes, Hayley Vargas, Isabell Murillo, Jasmine Sandoval, Joel Rojas, Kaya Briscoe, Luz Soto, Maria de Rosario Ruelas, Michael Bray, Natalie Frontella, Ricardo Ortega, Sidney Miller, Simarjot Gandhoke, Stephania Valdovinos, and Teresa Cavallero.
Throughout the summer weeks, numerous students come to the Atwater High School agriculture mechanics shop to continue working on various large scale shop projects that include BBQ’s trailers, and other wood or metal related projects. “Building projects is a full time, year-long process for many students who design and build large scale projects,” said FFA advisor Sam Meredith. “We make an effort to keep the shop open throughout the summer so students can continue to strengthen and develop their industry-related skills.”
In August, the new 2018-2019 chapter officers as well as students who were elected as sectional and regional officers will travel to Lake Tahoe, CA for a leadership retreat. The trip will involve various team building and leadership activities and provided the students and program with a strong foundation for students to be engaged in leadership roles to help inspire, encourage, and motivate this year’s group of new and continuing agriculture education students at Atwater High School.
The Atwater High School Agriculture program continues to be recognized throughout the state and nation as a model education program. “We believe agriculture education and FFA is a quality product people continue to invest in because they see the positive return on their investment through student success,” said FFA advisor Kaylyn Davenport. “We look forward to increasing the quality of the product this upcoming school year!”
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