More than 1,020 FFA students will travel to Pierce High School in Arbuckle for its annual FFA Field Day, Saturday, February 1, 2014.
The 16th annual field day provides opportunities for FFA Students from across the state to compete in skill competitions such as Ag Mechanics, Ag Sales, Agronomy, Best Informed Greenhand, Co-op Quiz, Creed, Dairy Products, Farm Business Management, Farm Power, Farm Records, Floriculture, Forestry, Job Interviews, Lt. Horse Judging, Nursery & Landscape, Small Engines, Veterinary Science, and Vegetable Crops.
FFA Students will display their technical competence, leadership and communication skills and earn recognition for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the agricultural industry.
To host such an event takes a lot of hard work from dedicated FFA High School students.
The Arbuckle FFA Field Day is one of the largest high school student organized competition that meets the requirements of the CATA Curricular Code, and is a state qualifying event.
The event has grown over the past 16 years, with its first event an invitational only, hosting three contests and 34 students.
“I had a few students who gave interest about hosting a field day,” said Cindy Rohde, Arbuckle FFA Advisor, “they took on the project and its grown ever since.”
This year’s event is said to be larger than the Merced College FFA Field Day. It is unique because, unlike many of the similar career development competitions that take place, the Arbuckle FFA Field Day is organized by the students.
“The students gather the test materials, come up with questions and the required materials for the contest,” said Rohde, “it takes a great deal dedication.”
Arbuckle FFA Field day is a cooperative effort.
“Over the last couple of years, I have had other schools ask about adding contests. I asked if they had kids willing to help, and they run with it,” said Rohde.
Gridley FFA, Atwater FFA, Nevada Union FFA, Lassen FFA and Woodland FFA work with Arbuckle FFA Students on developing the Ag Sales, Nursery & Landscaping, Dairy, Forestry, Veterinary Science, and Agronomy contests.
Students begin planning and organizing the event in September. The students begin contacting community members to help judge contests, and contact local businesses for sponsorships and donations.
The Arbuckle FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) help with the tabulations of the event. The Arbuckle FFA Field Day has become a training opportunity for U.C. Davis Competition.
“This is the largest field day we’ve hosted by far,” said Rohde.
The Arbuckle FFA Field Day has gained attention by California Assembly Member Mariko Yamada, who will attend as a judge for the Job Interviews contest.
“By becoming involved in programs like Future Farmers of America, students are equipping themselves with the knowledge and leadership skills to be successful in whatever path they choose,” said Assembly member Yamada, “I look forward to participating in the 16th Annual Arbuckle FFA Field Day and meeting these talented youth.”
FFA Students from around the state will begin arriving just before 7:00 a.m. for registration, followed by a welcome ceremony. At 8:00 a.m. the students will release to their individual contests.
The Arbuckle FFA serves a delicious Arbuckle FFA Traditional Tri-Tip Lunch to the contestants, judges, and staff.
Awards will take place at 2:30 p.m.
“I invite anyone from the community to come on out and see what we do,” said Rohde, “I believe they will be impressed.”
With a current registration of 1,020 students registered in 18 contests, the Arbuckle FFA Field Day exceeds the school’s enrollment by 275%.