by Fernando Montelongo
Forty members of the American Falls FFA Chapter attended the Idaho FFA State Career Development Event, hosted in Moscow, ID, during the week of June 7 to 11. The students, on an early Monday morning, made the trip to Boise, Idaho’s capital.
After arriving in Boise, our advisors had scheduled plans for entertainment. The chapter first made the stop at the JUMP center and had a tour of the building and the various tractors along with their history. After the tour was over, the chapter headed to Wahooze, a family fun zone. The chapter entertained itself doing the various activities provided which are laser tag, bumper cars, race cars, and an indoor ropes course.
After a fun day we headed to the small town of Cambridge, the hometown of our advisor Mr. Bret Kindall, where a dinner was provided and prepared by his family, friends and the Cambridge FFA alumni. The chapter also got the opportunity to mingle with the Cambridge chapter.
After a long day, we stayed at the Frontier Motel where each team studied and prepared for their event. The next afternoon we arrived in Moscow and settled into the Super 8 Hotel.
The next few days consisted of our 11 teams completing final preparations for the day of their competition. The competing teams consisted of Marketing Plan, Ag Mechanics, Forestry, Floriculture, Agronomy, Vet Science, Dairy Cattle Evaluation, Food Science, Nursery Landscape, Environmental and Natural Resources and Meat Evaluation.
Of our 11 teams, six placed in the top 10 among the 58 registered FFA chapters at the event. Agronomy placed tenth, Vet Science was eighth and Nursery Landscape placed sixth. The Environmental Science and Natural Resources team placed fifth, with team members Phil Barela, Jaqueline Cordova, Katie Bischoff and Genevieve Bartholoma who also placed as the event’s third high individual.
Two of our 11 teams won their events. Continuing a winning streak that began last winter through several invitational events, our Floriculture team brought home the gold and first place plaque. Aurora Ortiz, a senior, was the event’s tenth high scorer; Damaris Ortiz, a freshman, was fourth; Katie Bischoll, a junior, was third; and Jessica Hernandez, a freshman, was second. The Marketing Plan team consisting of three freshmen also brought home the gold and first palace plaque. Team members Aunnika Allen, Yulissa Rodriguez and Macy Winder have been working with Mark Anderson and Valley Agronomics since February developing a marketing plan and strategy that will enable Valley Ag to increase the sales of their line of biologicals as a replacement for chemical fumigants in several crops.
Mr. Marc Beitia told us all before the awards ceremony, “I am so proud of each and every one of you. Remember, it is not whether you win or lose, it’s what you choose to do after that will determine the person you are to become.”
The two national teams began practicing last week for their events that will likely begin in August through a series of virtual components and finally end in Indianapolis, IN this October. Others of us began making plans for next year’s events as well on the long bus ride home.
On behalf of the 40 FFA members who competed at our State FFA Career Development Events I want to specifically thank our local farmers and business partners who made it possible for most of us to even be able to go, compete and learn. We are indeed fortunate to live in a community where hard work and dedication is recognized and supported by so many.
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