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August 2017
FFA Leadership Retreat

Atwater FFA Branches Out During Leadership Retreat

“Branching Out Together” was selected as the 2017-2018 Atwater FFA theme as advisors and chapter officers gathered in Reno, NV and lake Tahoe, CA for their annual Atwater FFA Chapter Officer Leadership Retreat. The primary goals of the three day retreat was to plan the calendar, identify yearly objectives to help strengthen and continue the growth of its members and program, and strengthen team building skills.

“Our officer team starts the school year with focus, vision, and enthusiasm in leading their organization and our students,” said FFA advisor Natalie Borba. This year’s officer team hopes to inspire student leadership, expand personal success, increase participation from current members, and strengthen recruitment of new members. “This year’s theme represents the expanded opportunities and paths students can take within agriculture education and the FFA towards a journey of academic success, personal growth, leadership, and career exploration,” said Atwater FFA President Anessa Cardenas.

Leadership retreat highlights included visiting Squaw Valley Ski Resort to participate in various activities ranging from geocaching to scenic hiking and walking trails. For most of the students, this was the first time they left the state of California. “You don’t have the opportunity to travel out of state with other programs, agriculture allows us to travel throughout the state during the school year participating in competitions in various colleges and universities,” said FFA officer Jasmine Sandoval.

The Atwater High School agriculture program has been recognized as one of the state’s most productive agriculture programs by the California Agricultural Teacher’s Association (CATA) and the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE). “We have tremendous support from our school administration, school district, and our community in supporting FFA and agriculture education as a way to get students involved and provide individuals with purpose, direction and self-confidence in life,” said agriculture instructor and FFA advisor Kaylyn Davenport.

The new officer team is looking forward to the challenges and rewards that the upcoming 2017-2018 school year holds for them. This year’s officer team includes Anessa Cardenas, President; Jasmine Sandoval, Vice President; Dillon Guillen, Secretary; Zion Brigham, Treasurer; Grace Reyes, Reporter; Jonathan Garcia, Sentinel; and Stephania Valdovinos, Historian. In addition to the Atwater FFA chapter officers, three other Atwater FFA members (Emily Junez, Daisy Flores, and Callie Norton) joined the leadership retreat as they will be serving as sectional and regional FFA officers within the California FFA Association.

Grace Reyes
Atwater FFA Reporter