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February 2017
Project Competition Awards Banquet

Atwater FFA Students Bring Home SAE Honors

Ten Atwater FFA Students earned honors at the annual Merced-Mariposa Sectional FFA Project Competition Banquet held at the Merced County Fairgrounds last week. 93 FFA students throughout the Merced and Mariposa counties were recognized for their SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) programs. A SAE program is the actual, hands-on application of concepts and principles learned in the agricultural classroom. Students are supervised by agricultural education teachers in cooperation with parents, employers, and other adults who assist them in development and achievement of their educational and career goals.

Throughout late November and early December, various community and business representatives visited various FFA students at their homes and/or work place to learn about their projects. Students conducted a 15-20 minute overview presentation of their agricultural project and/or agricultural work experience. In addition, students were required to demonstrate a skill pertaining to their SAE. During the banquet, students were awarded a “gold” or “silver” award based on their presentations. Scholarships were also awarded to senior students. “The students and the SAE projects recognized in this county are some of the best in the entire state of California,” said Merced College Agriculture instructor and Program Director Darol Fishman.

The participants and results of Atwater FFA students were as follows: Audrey Esau (Silver), Austin Burris (Gold), Callie Norton (Gold), Colby Flatt (Gold), Courtney Creighton (Gold), Daniel Mesa (Gold and Merit Award), Katelyn Baptista (Gold), Kaya Briscoe-Mattis (Gold), Stephania Valdovinos (Gold), Zion Brigham (Gold). In addition of the results, $750 scholarships where were given out to the most deserving seniors who had competed for three or more years. Austin Burris receive a “Judges Selection” scholarship for his rabbit project, and Courtney Creighton received the Migliazzo & Sons Dairy scholarship for her poultry SAE.

The students plan to attend Merced College, Modesto Junior College, Fresno State University, Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, UC Davis, and Chico State University to pursue careers associated with their SAE’s.

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter