Local FFA Students Excel at 2016 Dean Merrell Memorial South Central District FFA Field Day

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing 

Each year, Central Arizona College’s Dean Merrell Future Farmers of America Field Day brings together students from the south central Arizona region to compete in events such as Agricultural Mechanics, Agronomy, Aquaculture, Entomology, Vet Science, Horse Judging, Job Interview, Livestock Judging, Nursery Operations, Range Management, and Soil.

Today, more than 629,367 FFA members, ages 12-21 throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are developing their own unique talents and exploring their interests in a broad range of career pathways. Arizona has more than 7,000 FFA members obtaining leadership and career skills.

FFA Field Days provide an opportunity for FFA members to showcase the skills they have been learning in the classroom by applying those ideas to real-world situations. Those who excel at the local level earn the chance to compete at the state and potentially, at the national level.

This annual competition is named for Dean Merrell, CAC’s first professor of agriculture and is co-sponsored by the institution’s agricultural department and its students.

Everett Rhodes of Casa Grande, AZ was awarded the 2016 Dean Merrell Lifetime Achievement Award at the field day.

Following is a listing of the 2016 Dean Merrell Memorial Field Day winners:

Agriculture Mechanics

Individual Rankings

1st        Trevor Miers, Casa Grande

2nd        Jacob Auza, Casa Grande

3rd        Trevor Nowlin, Casa Grande

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande (Jacob Auza, Trevor Miers, Trevor Nowlin and Wyatt Kent)     

2nd        Amphitheater (Adrian Alfaro, Devon Gallagher, William Johnson and Livan Alcantara)

3rd        Marana (Jeremiah Lindsey, Katlyn Pridgen and Nessa Martinez)



Individual Rankings

1st        Guierrmo Pinon, Casa Grande (Team 1)

2nd        Koby Charles, Casa Grande (Team 1)

3rd        Josh West, Casa Grande (Team 1)

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande, Team 1 (Kolten Debold, Guierrmo Pinon, Josh West and Koby Charles)

2nd        Rio Rico (Natalie Burgos, Gemma Rodriquez, Josh Mariquez and Vitoria Chacon)



Individual Rankings

1st        Tanner Lyman, Cienega

2nd        Clay Lyman, Cienega

3rd        Colt Lyman, Cienega

Team Rankings

1st        Cienega (Tanner Lyman, Colt Lyman, Mike Killving and Clay Lyman)

2nd        Coolidge (Chase Crawford, Selena Whitman, Bobbie Jo Harper, and Jayda Yarborough)

3rd        Rio Rico (Ana Mercado, Pedro Limon, and Samantha)



Individual Rankings

1st        Royal Whitehead, Casa Grande

2nd        Jacob Cotton, Casa Grande

3rd        Cassity Wellington, Casa Grande

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande – Team 1 (Royal Whitehead, Skylar Redd, Cassity Wellington and Jacob Cotton)

2nd        Casa Grande – Team 2 (Arriana Trevino, Cassity Wellinton, Meah Little and Callre Charles)

3rd        Rio Rico (Diana Bartosh, Daniel Quijada, Nicole Paco and Aaron Cluff)


Horse Judging

Individual Rankings

1st        Cayle Hempel, Pima JTED

2nd        Cierra Lohr, Pima JTED

3rd        Austin Lehar, Marana

Team Rankings

1st        Marana (Austin Lehar, Kiana Lindstrom, McKenzie Frizzell and Rio Ramey)

2nd        Pima JTED (Cayle Hempel, Cierra Lohr, Emma Stonemark, and Gryffin Krause)

3rd        Casa Grande - Team 1 (Dayton Johnson, Kalista Brown, Naiya Guinne and Victoria Shoemaker)


Job Interview

Individual Rankings

1st        Megan Key, Coolidge

2nd        Austin Torres, Pima JTED

3rd        Garrett Schumacher, Coolidge



Individual Rankings

1st        Alex Mutton, Coolidge

Livestock Judging

Individual Rankings

1st        Amanda Garcia, Casa Grande

2nd        Britney Scott, Amphitheater

3rd        Christa Lorefice, Marana

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande (Team 1)

2nd        Florence

3rd        Marana


Nursery Operations

Individual Rankings

1st        Tiernan Larkin, Casa Grande

2nd        Caleb Clark, Casa Grande

3rd        Pancho Medina, Coolidge

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande (Tiernan Larkin, Kori Ptacek, Caleb Clark, and Samantha Wengert)

2nd        Coolidge (Pancho Medina, Miko Rabago, Maggie Freeman, and Korbin Roulston)

3rd        Amphitheater (Manuel Saiz, Mackenzie Chamberlain, and Emily Terriquez)


Range Management

Individual Rankings

1st        Carlos Brown, Casa Grande

2nd        Stacy Lopez, Baboquivari

3rd        Blake Norris, Casa Grande

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande (Blake Gadberry, Carlos Brown, Paul Keeling, and Blake Norris)



Individual Rankings

1st        Luis Medina, Casa Grande

2nd        Mariah Lara, Casa Grande

3rd        Melanie Paytosh, Casa Grande

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande – Team 1 (Melanie Paytosh, Chase Hubbard, Luis Medina, and Mariah Lara)

2nd        Rio Rico – Team 1 (Gustavo Camacho, Maddie Hurtado, Mia Castillo, and Alex Estrella)

3rd        Casa Grande – Team 2 (Brooke Steve, Halle Householder, Kirstlynne Wright, and Perla Sierra)


Vet Science

Individual Rankings

1st        Sabrina Zupan, Pima JTED

2nd        Scout Gannon-Griffith, Pima JTED

3rd        Ashlie Newman, Pima JTED

Team Rankings

1st        Pima JTED – Team 2 (Sabrina Zupan, Scout Gannon-Griffith, Ashlie Newman, and Taylor Gilmore)

2nd        Pima JTED – Team 1 (Deanna Lundeen, Hailey Lindsey, Andrea Pena, and Kenna Stern)    

3rd        Cienega (Jolee Arnold, Trevor Sterling, Joanna Wetherbee, and Layne Donnelly)

The National Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization was founded in 1928 by a group of young farmers with the mission of preparing future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. In 1988, the official name was changed to “The National FFA Organization” to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814