FFA Students at Horse Judging contest

Local FFA Students Excel at 2018 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 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 195 students and guests.

Today, more than 653,359 FFA members, in grades seven through 12 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.

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 Agriculture and Advanced Technology division and its students.

Following is a listing of the 2018 Dean Merrell Memorial Field Day winners:

Agriculture Mechanics

Individual Rankings

1st         Royal Whitehead, Casa Grande

2nd        Seth Stager, Casa Grande

3rd        Cutter Boyle, Casa Grande

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande (Cutter Boyle, Samuel Florez, Seth Stager, and Royal Whitehead)

2nd        Casa Grande (Naiya Guin, Levi Joiner, Logan Mead, Leon Orlando)

3rd        Marana (Lytle Albright, Jeff Block, Johnathan Conningham and Annysia Martinez)


Individual Rankings

1st        Caleb Clark, Casa Grande

2nd        Amanda Garcia, Casa Grande

3rd        Hailey Ellison, Cienega

Team Rankings

1st        Casa Grande (Caleb Clark, Danna Conway, Amanda Garcia, and Blake Norris)

2nd        Cienega (Jolee Amdol, Jazmine Arnold, Hailey Ellison, and Taylor Shipley)

3rd        Rio Rico (Emma Luna, Anai Ruiz, Shelsie Trejo, and Marco Valenzuela)


Individual Rankings

1st        Nolan Ferrell, Florence

2nd        Brian Scott, Florence

3rd        Alexander Ellis, Coolidge

Team Rankings

1st        Coolidge (Alexander Ellis, Kirynn Jauregue, Alex Renteria, and Tyler Tolley)

2nd        Rio Rico (Samantha Dela Cerda, Jocelyn Giron, Joge Orrantia, Lizbeth Quiroz)

3rd        Coolidge (Alexa Chavez, Chris Chavez, Allen Mix, and Manuel Perez)

Ag Business

Individual Rankings

1st        Matthew Tran, Rio Rico


Individual Rankings

1st        Dustyn Kornman, Coolidge

2nd        Gwyneth Norwalk, Imagine Prep

3rd        Alicia Cardona, Imagine Prep

Team Rankings

1st        Imagine Prep (Jake Ashford, Alicia Cardona,Gwyneth Norwalk, and Henry Ramirez)

2nd        Coolidge (Deanna Arnold, Dustyn Kornman, Alana Sandnez, and Emily Tate)

3rd        Rio Rico (David Alverez, Fey Castillo, and Danitza Gar)


Individual Rankings

1st        Ryleigh Green, Marana

2nd        Karina Norton, Patagonia

3rd        Johnny Quiroga, Patagonia

Team Rankings

1st        Patagonia (Dylan Jacobs, Karina Norton, and Johnny Quiroga)

3rd        Marana (Jorge Estrada and Ryleigh Green)

Horse Judging

Individual Ranking

1st        Brianna Heath, Pina JTed

2nd        Megan Dailey, Cienega

3rd        Kaylee Stamm, Marana

Team Ranking

1st        Marana (Marley Nesbitt, Chate Pearce, Blake Penrod, and Kaylee Stamm)

2nd        Pima JTED (Bridget Callahan, Izzy Collins, Jenna Eliot, and Kaylee McCarthy)

3rd        Coolidge (Michael Bosquez, Navaeh Hernandez, Nathaniel Madril, and David Ortiz)

Job Interview

Individual Ranking

1st        Brandon Torres, Pima JTed

2nd        Sarah Serrano-Smith, Florence

3rd        Melissa Guerrero, Coolidge

Livestock Judging

Individual Ranking

1st        John Hubbell, Patagonia

2nd        Juliana Quiroga, Patagonia

3rd        Connor Petersen, Marana

Team Ranking

1st        Patagonia (Christa Lorefice, Annie Lucas, Payten Peterson and Rio Ramey)

2nd        Marana (Alexxis Flores, Christa Loreice, Connor Petersen, and Devin Rossa)

3rd        Patagonia (John Hubbell, Alexis Pallanes, Jesus Quiroz, and Juliana Quiroga)

Dairy Judging

Individual Ranking

1st        Michael Tapia, Pima JTed

2nd        Kauri Heet, Coolidge

3rd        Lia Barker, Patagonia

Team Ranking

1st        Pima JTed (Abigail Miller, Jasmine Ntale, Elizabeth Radnothy, and Michael Tapia)

2nd        Patagonia (Lia Barker, Andres Burgess, Ember Hubbell, and Brianna Young)

3rd        Pima JTed (Khyle DeGuzman, Jorja Pool, Natalie Pool, and Madyson Zorodsny)

Nursery Operations

Individual Ranking

1st        Arriana Tovar-Ochoa, Patagonia

2nd        Gianna Martin, Patagonia

3rd        Reyna Tovar-Ochoa, Patagonia

Team Ranking

1st        Patagonia (Gianna Martin, Stefania Tejeda, Arriana Tovar-Ochoa and Reyna Tovar-Ochoa)

2nd        Rio Rico (Leslie Estrella and Jessica Paz)

Range Management

Individual Ranking

1st        Demauri Carlos, Baboquivari

2nd        Jullian Monte, Baboquivari

3rd        Tayshawn Romero, Baboquivari

Team Ranking

1st        Baboquivari (Demauri Carlos, Jullian Monte, and Tayshawn Romero)


Individual Ranking

1st        Jistone Feliz, Imagine Prep

2nd        Caleb Brady, Imagine Prep

3rd        Nicoletta Krinis, Imagine Prep

Team Ranking

1st        Imagine Prep (Caleb Brady, Jistone Feliz, Nicoletta Krinis, and Matthew Ortiz)

2nd        Baboquivari (Travis Campillo, Myklyn Juan, and Audrey Martinez)

3rd        Marana (Megan Donaldson, Acacia Kimbell, and Aubrie Olkiewicz)

Vet Science

Individual Ranking

1st        Anna Ellis, Pima JTED

2nd        Gracie Hufford, Pima JTED

3rd        Devin Miller, Pima JTED

Team Ranking

1st        Pima JTED (Hannah Capara, Zach Collier, Gracie Hufford, and Devin Miller)

2nd        Pima JTED (Anna Ellis, Julia Dytko, Danika Markley, and Danielle Stark)

3rd        Flowing Wells (Jacklyn Buhr, Kylie Hensley, Colby John, and Sonia Martinez)

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.