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June 2016
Point Award Trip

Atwater FFA Students Remain 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 Sam Meredith. “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-four students spent a day rafting down the Stanislaus River. “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 rafting trip included Amanjot Gandhoke, Audrey Esau, Bailey Weimer , Belinda Espinoza, Blake Brigham, Callie Norton, Cesar Perez, Courtney Creighton, Daryl Dorsey , Dayana Argueta, Emily Junez, Emma Reyes, Faith Johnson, Grace Reyes, Jasmine Flores, Jeff Clark, Joel Rojas, Juan Hurtado, Julie Dailey, Kaya Briscoe-Mattis, Kelsi Kamesch, Luzmila Dena, Madison Hall, and Paige Brigham.

This month, the new 2016-2017 chapter officers as well as students who were elected as sectional and regional officers will be going to Pismo Beach, CA for a leadership retreat. The trip involves various team building and leadership activities and provides the students and program with a strong foundation for students engaged in leadership 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!”

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter