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The Breeze

The Breeze

Santa Maria’s FFA at the National FFA Convention

Press Release
Santa+Maria+High+Schools+FFA+students+at+the+National+FFA+Convention%2C+held+in+Indianapolis%2C+Indiana.%0APhoto+Provided+By+%3A+Kayce+Van+Horn
Santa Maria High School’s FFA students at the National FFA Convention, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo Provided By : Kayce Van Horn

The Santa Maria FFA recently sent ten FFA Members to the 96th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The convention hosted 72,954 members, advisors, and guests from across the country.

The Santa Maria FFA State Champion Poultry Judging Team competed in the National Contest, ranked gold, and placed 8th out of 43 teams. The Poultry Judging Career Development Event allows students to judge a variety of poultry products and assign grades according to USDA standards. Students also must know how to identify defects and give a set of verbal reasons about the products. Team members included Manuel Gomez (graduate attending UC Berkeley), Dianna Jimenez (graduate attending San Diego State), Giselle Lazaro (graduate attending Oxnard University), and Jhoana Hernandez (senior).

Competing at the National level for poultry evaluation was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was able to challenge myself at the national level and was able to get out of my shell. It’s definitely an experience that I would recommend to anyone whenever the opportunity arises.

— Jhoana Hernandez

Santa Maria FFA Poultry Judging Team Advisor, Amanda Rodriguez stated, “It has been an amazing journey working with my Poultry CDE Team over the last few years, and competing in the National Contest was a great way to end this journey. Earning 8th place in the nation is quite an accomplishment. I am extremely proud of these fine young people and know that they have a bright future ahead. I am grateful to have been their coach.”

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Other FFA Members attending the conference, included Melissa Lua-Duarte (senior), Jessica Avendano (senior), Carolina Espinoza (senior), Erick Silva (graduate attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), and Kayce Van Horn (junior). They participated in leadership activities and in the National Day of Service at the St. Vincent Distribution Center where they collectively completed over 25 hours of community service which helped the Indianapolis community. Over 2,640 FFA Members from across the country served in various capacities during the National Day of Service at the convention.

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  • The National FFA award for recognition of achievements in Poultry Evaluation. Photo Provided : Kayce Van Horn

Finally, Emily Guzman (senior) was selected and served as one of 43 California FFA National Delegates which were a part of the 466 National FFA State Delegates. These delegates are divided into committees where they make changes to the constitution and vote on who will be the next National FFA Officers. Guzman was a part of the Expanding Student Opportunities Committee. They propose the National FFA provide more opportunities for those with disabilities and those in middle school.

“Serving as a delegate was an absolute honor. Hearing from other states made me extra proud to be from the California FFA. An experience I will forever be grateful for because of all the amazing, dedicated people I have met.’’ – Emily Guzman, National Delegate.

Shannon Powell and Amanda Rodriguez were the two advisors on the trip.

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