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March 2017
Chico State FFA Field Day

Atwater FFA Sweeps CSU Chico and Butte College Field Day

 Eight Atwater High School FFA judging teams composed of forty-two students traveled to the 2017 Chico State – Butte College FFA Field Day to join 2400+ other high school agriculture students from all over California, Oregon, and Washington competing in various agriculture skills and industry-related career development event contests.  The Agronomy and Nursery & Landscape teams led the pack with 1st place team finishes with the Atwater FFA Soil and Land Evaluation (2nd overall), Ag Mechanics (3rd overall), Poultry (3rd overall), Milk Quality and Dairy Foods (9th overall), Floriculture (13th overall), and Meats teams adding to the largest number of students from one school competing at the state university contest.

 The Atwater FFA Agronomy judging team of Jasmine Flores (1st overall), Belinda Espinoza (2nd overall), Dillon Guillen, and Kelsi Kamesch placed 1st overall in a contest that 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. Atwater FFA entered a “B” team that placed 6th overall and was comprised of Felicity Garcia, Vanessa Varela, Jennifer Velazquez, and Luz Soto.

 The Atwater FFA Nursery and Landscape team of Dayana Argueta (1st overall), Daryl Dorsey (2nd overall), Jeff Clark (3rd overall), and Amajot Gandhoke placed 1st overall in a contest that involves demonstrated knowledge and skills in their plant identification, plant selection & evaluation, transplanting, and written exam on all aspects of horticulture and the horticulture industry.

 The Atwater FFA Soil and Land Evaluation “B” team out competed the Atwater FFA “A” team with a 2nd place finish overall. The team was comprised of Michael Bray (3rd overall), Ethan Garcia, and Jerod Nickerson. The “A” team finished 5th overall and was comprised of Arturo Valdovinos (2nd overall) Audrey Esau, Jose Ruiz, and Katelyn Baptista. The contest helps students gain an understanding of the most basic need for all agricultural pursuits- healthy land on which to grow crops or raise livestock. Participants identify and evaluate soil samples for various indicators, grade plots of land for slope and drainage, and work to determine what type of activity the land would be best suited for. 

 The Atwater FFA Ag Mechanics team of Nathaniel Cavallero (2nd overall), Justin Sorginson, Joel Rojas, and Daisy Flores-Mota placed 3rd overall in a contest involving 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 Poultry team of Ana Lozano (5th overall) Alfredo Elizarraraz, Brianna Diaz, and Stephania Valdovino placed 3rd overall in a contest that blends practical hands-on experiences with a basic knowledge of the poultry industry required for careers in the poultry field. Stefanie Anguino and Emmanuel Mejia also competed as an alternates.

 The Atwater FFA Milks Quality and Dairy Foods team of Callie Norton, Joseph Hayward, Natalie Frontella, and Odalys De La Torre placed 9th overall in a contest where students demonstrate their knowledge and skills in milk quality (tasting), cheese identification, real vs imitation dairy foods, and a written exam on the dairy industry. Anessa Cardenas and Jose Montanez also competed as alternates.

 The Atwater FFA Floriculture team of Samantha Theodozio, Jasmine Sandoval, Liliana Vargas, and Aracele Mauleon placed 13th overall in a contest that involves plant identification, application of “hands-on” floral arrangements, and industry related floral skills.

 The Meats judging team of Mariah Castro and Courtney Creighton competed in the contest involving 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 Chico State – Butte College Field Day is designed to showcase students’ “hands-on” and technical skills in various agriculture related fields. “Students apply their knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in real-life job skill environments,” said FFA advisor Sam Meredith. “We have a group of students that take tremendous pride towards their work ethic and skill development in a variety of agricultural related skills and occupations.” The FFA judging competitions continue with Merced College, Modesto Junior College, Reedley College, Cosumnes River College, Fresno State University, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo scheduled in the coming two months.

Audrey Esau
Atwater FFA Reporter