Local FFA Students Excel at 2017 Dean Merrell Memorial South Central District FFA Field Day

By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. –  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 Business, Agronomy, Agriculture Mechanics, Entomology, Vet Science, Horse Judging, Job Interview, Livestock Judging, Nursery Operations, Range Management, and Soil. Total attendance at this year’s event was 305 students.

Today, more than 649,355 FFA members, aged 12-21, in all 50 states, including 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 engineering and technology department and its students.

Steven Sipes of Casa Grande, AZ was awarded the 2017 Dean Merrell Lifetime Achievement Award at the field day.

Following is a listing of the 2017 Dean Merrell Memorial Field Day winners:

Agriculture Mechanics
Individual Rankings
1st     Kolten Debold, Casa Grande
2nd    Royal Whitehead, Casa Grande
3rd     Cutter Boyle, Casa Grande

Team Rankings
1st    Casa Grande (Cutter Boyle, Kolten Debold, Tyler Joiner and Royal Whitehead)   
2nd   Casa Grande (Samuel Florez, Logan Medd, Seth Stager and Olivia Waurer)
3rd    Marana (Lytle Albright, Jolge Estrada, Dyllan Fraser and Annysia Martinez)

Welding
Individual Rankings
1st    Lytle Albright, Marana
2nd   Royal Whitehead, Casa Grande

Agronomy
Individual Rankings
1st    Joshua West, Casa Grande
2nd   Caleb Clark, Casa Grande
3rd    Dana Conway, Casa Grande

Team Rankings
1st    Casa Grande (Caleb Clark, Tiernan Larkin, Cassety Wellington and Joshua West)
2nd   Casa Grande (Dana Conway, Amanda Garcia, Blake Norris and Jessica Leighton)
3rd    Rio Rico (Victoria Chacon and Gemma Rodriguez)

Ag Business
Individual Rankings
1st    Natalie Burgos, Rio Rico
2nd   Jesus Vega, Rio Rico
3rd    Tran Hoanggia, Rio Rico

Team Rankings
1st    Rio Rico (Natalie Burgos, Tran Hoanggia and Jesus Vega)
2nd   Desert View (Cynthia Rodriguez-Melendez, Angelina Valles and Luz Linda Weke)
3rd    Florence (Sydney Kloos and Lauren Navarro)

Entomology
Individual Rankings
1st    Justin Wells, Casa Grande
2nd   Skylar Redd, Casa Grande
3rd    Callie Charles, Casa Grande

Team Rankings
1st    Casa Grande (Callie Charles, Meah Little, Skylar Redd and Justin Wells)
2nd   Coolidge (Brodee Brinkerhoff, Juan Chavez, Logan Fryhover and Jade Martinez)
3rd    Rio Rico (Jared Fischer, Danitza Garcia, Jennifer Lopez and Nathan Pimienta)

Horse Judging
Individual Ranking
1st    Caylie Hempel, Pima JTED
2nd   Samantha Reece, Casa Grande
3rd    Megan Dailey, Casa Grande

Team Ranking
1st    Pima JTED (Izzy Collins, Zoe Hatch, Caylie Hempel and Olivia Schaeffer)
2nd   Pima JTED (Alexis Earles, Daniela Martinez, Danika Markel and Lily Roh)
3rd    Flowing Wells (Annalyse Acedo, Sasheyra Lara, Arianna Mathein and Austin Spivey)

Job Interview
Individual Ranking
1st    Megan Key, Coolidge
2nd   Melissa Guerrero, Coolidge
3rd    Austin Tores, Pima JTED

Livestock Judging
Individual Ranking
1st    Rio Ramey, Marana
2nd   Ashton Redd, Casa Grande
3rd    Brooke Lorefice, Florence

Team Ranking
1st    Marana (Christa Lorefice, Annie Lucas, Payten Peterson and Rio Ramey)
2nd   Florence (Brooke Lorefice, Jasmine Lorefice, Kai Nelson and Aamier Prince)
3rd    Marana (Katherine Evans, Alexis Flores, Kaylee Mosley and Conner Pterson)

Nursery Operations
Individual Ranking
1st    Ellena Battraw, Casa Grande
2nd   Caleb Alega, Casa Grande
3rd    Chloe Stephens, Coolidge

Team Ranking
1st    Casa Grande (Caleb Alega, Ellena Battraw, Chloe Stephens and Alexis Williams)
2nd   Coolidge (Alexander Ellis, Maggie Freeman, Bobbie Jo Harper and Miko Robaago)
3rd    Rio Rico (Andrea Collemo-Zarate, Alyssa Gonzalez, Cielo Saurez and Janique Verdugo)

Range Management
Individual Ranking
1st    Edward Pablo, Baboquivari
2nd   Stacy Lopez, Baboquivari
3rd    Noelle Jose, Baboquivari

Team Ranking
1st    Baboquivari (Noelle Jose, Stacy Lopez, Jillian Monte and Edward Pablo)
2nd   Baboquivari (Amanda Garcia, Ashen Jose, Marcus Lopez and Emma Ventura)
3rd    Casa Grande (Cole Auza, Padon Dugan, Colton Guin and Brady Stephens)

Soil
Individual Ranking
1st    Brook Steve, Casa Grande
2nd   Alyson Armstad, Casa Grande
3rd    Halle Householder, Casa Grande

Team Ranking
1st    Casa Grande (Alyson Armstad, Halle Householder, Raylynn Jones and Brook Steve)
2nd   Marana (Hannah Damewood, Devin Rossa and Wyatt White)
3rd    Baboquivari (Edalence Juan and Eric Segundo-Antone)

Vet Science
Individual Ranking
1st    Kenna Stern, Pima JTED
2nd   Sabrina Zupan, Pima JTED
3rd    Taylor Gaines, Pima JTED

Team Ranking
1st    Pima JTED (Taylor Gaines, Deanna Lundeen, Kenna Stern and Sabrina Zupan)
2nd   Pima JTED (Olivia Corrales, Mia Moreno, Daniela Vasquez and Valeria Verdugo)    
3rd    Pima JTED (Lyssa Gascom, Adela Granados, Katherina Molina and Isobel Sandlin)

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