Cienega, Flowing Wells capture 3 events; Coolidge, Casa Grande win 1 each at 2009 Dean Merrell FFA Field Day

February 24, 2009

COOLIDGE, Ariz.Flowing Wells High School of Tucson and Cienega High School of Vail, Ariz., each collected three first-place finishes at the 2009 South Central Dean Merrell Future Farmers of America Field Day hosted by Central Arizona College, leading the way with the most blue ribbons and plaques in the competition.

Nearly 200 high school students from Pinal and Pima counties converged on Central Arizona College’s Signal Peak Campus on Feb. 20 for the annual FFA competition that featured participation in 13 different career development disciplines.

Members of the first-place teams received plaques and ribbons, while teams finishing in second and third place also were recipients of ribbons.

Casa Grande Union High School and Coolidge High School each won one event in the competition. The quartet of Sarahbeth Bourland, Cheyenne Williams, Jessica Bowles and Jacob Brown plowed Coolidge to victory in the Agronomy division, while Colton Martinez, John Wilson and Haily Wood dug up a victory in the Soil competition for Casa Grande.

Flowing Wells repeated as the champion in the Agricultural Issues and Nursery Operations events, and Baboquivari High School of Sells, Ariz., retained its Range Management title. Amber Tiokasin was the lone returning team member from last year’s first-place Baboquivari squad.

Amphi High School of Tucson also repeated as the champion of the Meats Evaluation and Livestock Evaluation events. The trio of Jonathan Jimenez, Jordan Sisler and Yvonne Williams defended their 2008 Livestock title along with newcomer Kelsey Scott.

The individual Job Interview championship featured a repeat winner as well when Luisa Lopez of Rio Rico High School took top honors, while Trinda Huerta, Nikki Reck and Michelle Garcia of Flowing Wells captured the Entomology competition for the second straight year.

The following is a complete list of winners from the FFA Field Day event at Central Arizona College:

Agricultural Issues - Flowing Wells
Makayla Anderson, Christina Armstrong, Wylynn Poe

Agricultural Mechanics - Cienega
Mike Heral, Brian Jacobson, Austen Stewart, Larissa Stewart

Agronomy - Coolidge
Sarahbeth Bourland, Jessica Bowles, Jacob Brown, Cheyenne Williams

Dairy Management - Rio Rico
Alvaro Campos-Ochoa, Jesus Pesquerira, Osvaldo Rivera, Yadelle Vadez

Entomology - Flowing Wells
Michelle Garcia, Trinda Huerta, Nikki Reck

Horse Evaluation - Cienega
Kya Gilliam, Katie Lackey, Chauncey Smith, Christina York

Job Interview - Rio Rico
Luisa Lopez

Livestock Evaluation - Amphi
Jonathan Jimenez, Kelsey Scott, Jordan Sisler, Yvonne Williams

Meats Evaluation - Amphi
Ana Equihua, Alicia Osuna, AJ Pargas, Chris Uhirg

Nursery Operations - Flowing Wells
Vincent Dominguez, Danielle Mettler

Range Management - Baboquivari
Delissa Pancho, Haysia Patricio, Shanna Ramon, Amber Tiokasin

Soil - Casa Grande
Colton Martinez, John Wilson, Haily Wood

Wildlife Management - Cienega
Kent Etchart, Stevan Hersey, J.C. Monrel, Tim Purvis

The 2009 South Central Dean Merrell Future Farmers of America Field Day is named for Dean Merrell, Central Arizona College’s first professor of agriculture and was co-sponsored by the institution’s agricultural department and its students.

The National Future Farmers of America is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

The FFA was founded in 1928 to provide leadership training for high school students of vocational agriculture. The 33 young farm boys who congregated in Kansas City’s Baltimore Hotel that year could not have predicted how the organization they started would become a leader in agricultural education nationwide.

In 1950, the 81st Congress of the United States, recognizing the importance of the FFA as an integral part of the program of vocational agriculture, granted a Federal Charter to the FFA. Today, the FFA uses agricultural education to prepare students for more than 300 careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.

Today, the FFA boasts more than 500,000 members in nearly 7,500 local chapters. The iconic blue corduroy jacket proudly worn by FFA members embodies years of history, tradition and excellence in agricultural education.



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