FFA banquets wrap up with taste

Throughout last week, schools in Colusa County hosted individual banquets to recognize and award the achievements of students in FFA with awards. This was also time for the current FFA officer team to welcome newly elected officers.

The FFA is the premier youth organization that prepares members for leadership and careers in the science, business, and technology of agriculture. Founded in 1928, FFA brought together students, teachers, and agribusiness to solidify support for agricultural education. Colusa County has a proud history with FFA dating back to 1929.

At the banquets, many of the achievements by students were recognized. 

Holly Hickel was given the Star Chapter Greenhand and first place in achievement points for fresmen. Hickel’s mom was one of many attending parents who cheered for their students as they received recognition. 

“I’m excited for her. This is something she has been wanting to do since she was little. She’s been watching my best friends’ kids go through school and they were big into the FFA so that’s why she wanted to do it,” Kelley Hickel said, beaming with pride for her daughter. “I’m very proud of her. She’s an overachiever – well rounded too.”

Passing on the torch, officers took their experiences and made way for the next team. 

“I learned a lot about dealing with people,” said Emiliano Rodriguez, this past year’s Arbuckle FFA president, who handed the gavel to Crystal Medina. “I learned how make connections and promote my ideas.” 

Rodriguez said he used FFA as an extracurricular stepping stone. 

“My comfort with people really shows, especially when I get interviewed for scholarships or for jobs,” he said. “It’s been really helpful, just being comfortable talking to people I don’t know.”

Highlights from Arbuckle’s FFA awards were honoary memberships to Matt Sweet for his help as a cook for FFA events, and Melissa Vanlaningham for her years of assistance with the Colusa County Fair animals. A plaque and trip to State Convention was given to Star Greenhand, freshman Morgan Erickson. Erickson partcipated in livestock judging, helping with the Creed contest, and will be showing a goat this year. Star Chapter Farmer award was given to Tristan Miller for partcipating in conferences and various other FFA activites. Outstanding Senior award was given to Emma Doherty for partcipation in livestock judging, ag communications, contest chair at FFA Field Day, attendance at state FFA conference, and many other FFA events.

Colusa’s top recognitions included Project Competition Division 1, freshman and sophomores with the Gold award: Tyler Moss, Casey Medina, Destiny Ramirez, Evelyn Razo, Christopher Rodriguez, Annabella Hernandez, and Justin Lee. Project Competition Division II, juniors and seniors with the Gold award: Liliana Davis, Michael Ziglar, Jaycee Brackett, and Liam deWit. Star Chapter Greenhands were Justin Lee and Holley Hickel. Star Chapter Farmers Blake Kalfsbeek, and Annabella Hernandez.

Princeton’s notable winners at their May 14 banquet were Jonathan Silva, who was awarded Top Welder. Taking home the bulk of recognitions were Travis Moniz received the Blue and Gold award for top FFA student, FFA Honors, four-year member, Ag Pathway award. 

Joe Hitt and Isabelle Bugan both received Ag Pathway awards. FFA Honors were Joe Hitt, isabelle Bugan, and Ella Kessler. 

The Maxwell FFA Chapter held their annual banquet last week, installing their newly elected officers and awarding outstanding FFA members. 

The Star Greenhand award, given to freshmen, was presented to Paige Vierra. The Star Chapter award was received by Morgan Dennis. Outstanding freshman was Madison Pearson. Abigail Dunlap was outstanding sophomore, and Aubrianna Keeler was outstanding junior. 

Maxwell FFA also presented their annual workhorse award to members Reagan Spesert and Kenzie Wilson. 

Community service plays a vital role in the membership of FFA. Each year, selected members receive an award for their outstanding dedication to the community. This year’s winners at Maxwell were Paige Vierra, Rosa Corona, Rosalyn Wilson, Laynee Haywood, Morgan Dennis, Abigail Dunlap, and Hollie Azevedo.

The 2019-20 FFA officers will be Paige Vierra, sentinal; Abigail Dunlap, reporter; Laynee Haywood, treasurer; Morgan Dennis, secretary; Jillian Wilson, vice president; Melissa Ramirez, president.

The Williams FFA Chapter held their annual banquet last Thursday, awarding several members with awards and proficiencies. 

Litzie Leos was presented the Star Greenhand award, and was chosen on the basis of leadership, and service to her chapter and community. 

Chapter degree recipients, chosen from members who have obtained their Greenhand award, were Nayeli Contreras, Emliiano Garcia, Jovanna Hernandez, Michelle Lopez, Karina Martinez, Paola Orduno, Jasmin Paiz, Selina Perez, Lynda Reynolds, Vanessa Sanchez, and Bryan Solis. 

The Star Chapter award, given to a member or members who exhibit excellent leadership, service to both their chapter and community, and have a Supervised Agricultural Experience Program (SAE) in place, were presented to Paolo Orduno and Jovanna Hernandez.

The Beef Production award was presented to Nathaly Villa. The Sheep Production award went to Alfredo Navarro. The Swine Production award went to Omar Paniagua. 

The Williams FFA elected officers for 2019-2020 are Giselle Salazar, public relations; Esteban Tinoco, historian; Litzie Leos, sentinel; Nayeli Contreras, reporter; Emily Cano, treasurer; Jovanna Hernandez, secretary; Paola Orduno, vice president; and Lizeth Madrigal, president. ■