The sun shone warmly on students participating in the annual Field Day in Arbuckle on Saturday. For over 20 years, the event hosted by the Arbuckle FFA has grown in popularity. This year was estimated by event officials to be the biggest yet, with 107 schools and over 2,000 attendees.
“This is the first time it has been sunny since freshman year,” said Allie Lux, chairperson for the Arbuckle FFA Chapter. “The good weather really helps because then we can have more contests, like soils.”
Many contests tested different areas of knowledge for the students, who would evaluate an element of agriculture and be judged on their presentation. The contests included mechanics, sales, agronomy, best informed Greenhand, co-operative marketing, creed, farm power, farm recordbook, floriculture, forestry, job interview, light horse, milk quality and dairy foods, nursery, landscape, small engines, soil and land evaluation, vegetable crop judging, and veterinarian science.
The FFA was founded by young farmers in 1928 with the mission of preparing future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They emphasized the science, business, and art of agriculture, and adopted the motto, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve.”
Hands-on experience through the FFA has helped students to shape their higher educational goals toward a specific career.
“It is helping developing my leadership abilities,” said Janet Gonzalez, from Maxwell High School, who is interested in business, criminal justice, and psychology.
Sidnee Wilson, a freshman from Maxwell High School, already knows what she wants to major in: Agriculture Communications.
Lux said she is planning on taking her FFA experiences with her. She intends to take college courses in agriculture, but she will primarily focus on nursing, nurtured through her experiences with veterinary science.
“Everything was pretty interesting,” said Audrey Wills, a freshman at Maxwell. “I’m in floral class right now and I am really interested in flowers and what goes on with flowers. I would really like to get into more into floral and do that kind of stuff next year.”
In addition to the educational component, the networking and camaraderie at the event was a large draw for many students.
“I made a bunch of new friends from Marysville and McKinleyville,” said Wilson. “It is pretty cool at events like this; we can meet people from other schools.”
Pat Hamilton, retired superintendent of the Pierce Joint Unified School District, said she is always impressed with how well behaved and well dressed the students are at the Field Day. She has been a part of the FFA Field Day since it was first held in Arbuckle, and said she has watched it grow from 300 students to the massive event it has become.
“It just makes my heart smile,” Hamilton said. ■
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