Arbuckle hosts agricultural field day

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FFA members from around Northern California gathered at Pierce High School on Saturday for the 19th annual FFA Field Day.

Arbuckle FFA hosted hundreds of students who competed in multiple events, from problem-solving to tool identification; each contest requiring a different skill set.

“It’s quite an experience,” said Pierce High School freshman Barrett Langlois, 15, after competing in an event that requires knowledge of small engines.

The FFA Field Day was started in 1998, and is the only agriculture education event of its kind in the state. Students competed in ag mechanics, creed, farm power, veterinary science, forestry, and many other events, which were scattered throughout the campus and inside classrooms.

FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is an organization committed to providing a path to achievement in leadership, personal growth and career success, said students participating in Saturday’s event.

“It’s bettered my leadership abilities, as well as being competitive in my lamb project,” said Hanna Schneider, 17, a Colusa High School senior.

Schneider’s Field Day competition included job interview and a chance to earn a spot at sectionals.

After graduation, Schneider, who has been a member of FFA all four years of high school, plans to study biology, and eventually enter the medical field.

Carlin Marsh, who co-chaired the event with Devin Griffith, said this year’s Field Day was a huge success with over 1,500 FFA members from about 97 chapters attending.

“Even though we had to cancel a couple of contests, everything went very smoothly and it was one of the best field days we had in awhile,” Marsh said.

Marsh said she was pleased new District 4 Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, attended the event with a member of her staff.

“They both enjoyed learning about Field Day and FFA as a whole,” Marsh said. “They are looking forward to coming back in the future.”

FFA members attending Saturday’s Field Day said they had a wonderful time at the competition, and found FFA to be a rewarding experience altogether.

Justin Davies, 17, also a Colusa High School senior, has found his first year in FFA to be positive.

“I’ve had a lot of good experiences, and I will be able to show an animal for the first time at the fair,” he said.

Students who made the 250-mile trip from Alturas to Arbuckle for the event said the Arbuckle field day is one of the most anticipated and rewarding experiences in FFA.

Students also came from Fort Bragg, Salinas, Modesto, Lodi, Ferndale, Hilmar, Woodland, Corning, Los Molinos, Ripon and many other schools.

Field Day activities wrapped up around 2 p.m. with organizers handing out awards.

Volunteers from around the community assisted in judging events and provided a tri-tip barbecue lunch to the students.

Marsh said Arbuckle FFA members have already started planning next year’s 20th annual Field Day, which will be held the first Saturday in February, 2018.