Casa Grande Union corrals four events, Cienega ropes in three at 2010 Dean Merrell FFA Field Day

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. – Casa Grande Union High School captured four events and Cienega High School of Vail, Ariz., lassoed three at the 2010 South Central Dean Merrell Future Farmers of America Field Day hosted by Central Arizona College.

High school students from Pinal and Pima counties converged on CAC’s Signal Peak Campus on, Friday, Feb. 5, for the annual FFA competition that featured participation in 13 different career development disciplines as well as job interviewing.

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 captured first-place finishes in agricultural mechanics, agronomy and nursery operations. Dylan Deeds was the individual winner in the agricultural mechanics competition, while he also led a quartet that included Heather Gardner, John Hall and Kory Pettoroff to victory in the team scoring.

The agronomy foursome of Colton Martinez, Hailee Runels, Bryette Sipes and Katherine Wallis finished first for Casa Grande, while classmates Alex Canez, Orlando Chavez and Samantha Potter earned a blue ribbon in the nursery operation program for their top placement.

Individually, Wyatte Carpenter of Coolidge High School captured the agronomy event and Danielle Metler of Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, Ariz., took top honors in nursery operations.

Casa Grande repeated as the soil competition champion after getting help from two new team members. Byron Ollerton and Preston Sipes joined John Wilson and Haley Wood – two squad members from 2009 – in helping Casa Grande retain its crown. Sipes even claimed the individual award as the top soil expert among the students in the category.

Casa Grande also scored high marks in the individual job interview competition thanks to a first-place finish by Danyal Vigil.

Cienega earned its three first-place finishes by repeating in wildlife management and horse evaluation, and taking the top prize in aquaculture.

Kent Etchart, the lone returning member of the 2009 first-place wildlife management squad, won the individual title. This year he was joined by teammates Martika Harris, Carlee Mahan and JC Monreal in taking the team award.

Cienega rode to victory again in horse evaluation thanks to the foursome of Megan Ayers, Casie Rice, Justine Rice and Chauncey Smith. Smith was a member of last year’s first-place team, while Ayers galloped off with the individual award.

The trio of Serena Frowhein, Coy Hubbell and Megan Waffensmith captured the aquaculture competition. Frowhein was named the individual winner as well.

Flowing Wells splashed to a pair of team victories in entomology and agricultural business. Ashley Hamilton, Mai Ho, Alexander McNair and Trang Vo teamed up to take the ag business honor, but it was classmate Mimi Deyo competing as an independent who took first place in the individual race.

The entomology competition saw a pair of familiar faces lead Flowing Wells to a repeat title in Michelle Garcia and Trinda Huerta who participated on last year’s first-place squad.

The addition of Jazhael Acosta in 2010 coupled with the top individual showing by Huerta allowed Flowing Wells to keep its first-place hardware in its trophy case again this year.

Amphitheater High School in Tucson, Ariz., milked a first-place finish in the dairy management competition and grilled a victory in the meats evaluation event for the third straight year.

Rhianna Nunez won the individual dairy management competition and led a quartet that included Tenaya Boone, Brianna Camacho and Cynthia Garcia to a blue-ribbon finish.

Meanwhile, Delanie Costello, Julio Estudillo, Leandra Reinhardt and Anthony Smith served up a victory in the meats evaluation event thanks largely to Costello who won the individual crown.

Range management again belonged to Baboquivari High School of Sells, Ariz., thanks to the foursome of Tiffany Jones, Haysia Patricio, Francisco Manuel and Melina Wichapa. Patricio, who was part of last year’s first-place team, also won the individual range management competition this year.

The livestock evaluation event went to Michael Crook, Jesse Romero, Steven Robertson and Zach Tucker of Marana High School thanks in large part to Crook who stole first place in the individual competition.

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

Agricultural Business
Team Winner: Flowing Wells (Ashley Hamilton, Mai Ho, Alexander McNair, Trang Vo)
Individual Winner: Mimi Deyo (Flowing Wells)

Agricultural Mechanics
Team Winner: Casa Grande (Dylan Deeds, Heather Gardner, John Hall, Kory Pettoroff)
Individual Winner: Dylan Deeds (Casa Grande)

Team Winner: Casa Grande (Colton Martinez, Hailee Runels, Bryette Sipes, Katherine Wallis)
Individual Winner: Wyatte Carpenter (Coolidge)

Team Winner: Cienega (Serena Frowhein, Coy Hubbell, Megan Waffensmith)
Individual Winner: Serena Frowhein (Cienega)

Dairy Management
Team Winner: Amphitheater (Tenaya Boone, Brianna Camacho, Cynthia Garcia, Rhianna Nunez)
Individual Winner: Rhianna Nunez (Amphitheater)

Team Winner: Flowing Wells* (Michelle Garcia*, Trinda Huerta*, Jazhael Acosta)
Individual Winner: Trinda Huerta (Flowing Wells)
*Also won event in 2009

Horse Evaluation
Team Winner: Cienega* (Megan Ayers, Casie Rice, Justine Rice, Chauncey Smith*)
Individual Winner: Megan Ayers (Cienega)
*Also won event in 2009

Job Interview
Individual Winner: Danyal Vigil (Casa Grande)

Livestock Evaluation
Team Winner: Marana (Michael Crook, Jesse Romero, Steven Robertson, Zach Tucker)
Individual Winner: Michael Crook (Marana)

Meats Evaluation
Team Winner: Amphitheater* (Delanie Costello, Julio Estudillo, Leandra Reinhardt, Anthony Smith)
Individual Winner: Delanie Costello (Amphitheater)
*Also won event in 2009

Nursery Operations
Team Winner: Casa Grande (Alex Canez, Orlando Chavez, Samantha Potter)
Individual Winner: Danielle Metler (Flowing Wells)

Range Management
Team Winner: Baboquivari* (Tiffany Jones, Haysia Patricio*, Francisco Manuel, Melina Wichapa)
Individual Winner: Haysia Patricio (Baboquivari)
*Also won event in 2009

Team Winner: Casa Grande* (Byron Ollerton, Preston Sipes, John Wilson*, Haley Wood*)
Individual Winner: Preston Sipes (Casa Grande)
*Also won event in 2009

Wildlife Management
Team Winner: Cienega* (Kent Etchart*, Martika Harris, Carlee Mahan, JC Monreal)
Individual Winner: Kent Etchart (Cienega)

The 2010 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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