FFA shows up the competition
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Aug 01, 2013 | 1338 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Johnson showing his crossbred gilt in the market hog class.
James Johnson showing his crossbred gilt in the market hog class.
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Kim Johnson with her dairy heifer, Ellie May
Kim Johnson with her dairy heifer, Ellie May
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Patterson High School’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) could now add several wins to their long legacy of awards at the Stanislaus County Fair after teachers were able to successfully help students secure their wins.

Samantha Cahill, a FFA teacher at PHS, said it was her second year leading the student-wide competition, and was happy that the experience went well this year compared the year prior.

“The kids did a lot better this year thanks to the consistency,” said Cahill, who said she was able to further her relationship with the students.

“Getting to know them makes a lot of difference in their confidence,” she said. “It surprised me how dedicated and responsible 14-year-olds to 17-year-olds can be. Some of the students had never had the chance to do this before, so it was great seeing their level of dedication.”

Cahill said the hardest aspect of the county fair was getting all of her students to their respected shows at one time.

“It’s all about timing. There are a lot of animals to keep track of and they all are going on different days. There were 30 kids, total, so there was plenty to keep up with,” she said.

Animals were not the only aspect of the fair that were judged. According to former FFA student and newly graduated Austin Johnson, 18, he dedicated his time to the mechanics category, and built a barbeque from scratch with the help from his teachers.

“The total cost to build it was five grand,” said Austin. “It was about 15-feet long and had a smoker and independent outside grill. It took me a month and a half to do it, but I had a great time.”

Austin was sponsored by Mr. John Wong, co-owner of the Patterson Pharmacy in Patterson’s downtown district.

Austin had been in FFA for the past four years and said he will miss the experience immensely. As a sign off, Austin was awarded first place in Ag Mechanics for his barbeque grill.

First year showman Kimberly Johnson, 15, a sophomore at PHS, won third place in Novice Showmanship with her dairy heifer, Ellie May.

Kimberly said the experience was fun and is excited to begin next year as well. Ellie May will continue to be her partner as a two year project, having finished up this year already.

“I’m lucky, I don’t have to sell her until next year. But I’ll be getting another heifer around April,” Kimberly said. “I like Ellie May, but she was pretty stubborn at times.”

Kimberly credited her mother for the experience and her family friend, Dan.

“Dan gave me a tack box and a bunch of pointers on how to do everything,” she said.

While it is the first year for some members, this upcoming school year will mark the last for Kierstan Rhodes, who won first place in Novice Showmanship with her heifer, Myrtle—named after a foliage used in Ag floral classes.

Kierstan, an FFA officer for two years and a past-president for the chapter, said it was more than just an organization.

“It teaches you more than you can learn in a classroom,” she said of the experience. “This is a greater level of teaching and is a hands on approach.”

Kierstan said she never doubted herself when she took Myrtle to the ring.

“They had us lined up and they called me out. I kind of expected it, but I told myself ‘don’t mess this up!’” she said.

Kierstan also showed her pig, Hickory at the fair.

Other FFA entries included:

Six sheep shown by Luis Lopez, Bryan DeAnda, Jennifer Rodriguez, Natalee Rios, Samantha Calvert, and Mikaela Green. Patterson FFA sheep kids also took 1st place in clean barn.

Six goats shown by Alondra Artaega, Adrianna Chavez, Matt Schaa, Bailey Boschi, Karen Sevilla, and Priscilla Menchaca. Alondra received 2nd place in Novice Showmanship and Karen received 3rd place in Novice Showmanship.

Three rabbits shown by Hailee Schilp, Natalie Caeton, and Leland Routt. Hailee received 1st place in Novice Showmanship.

Thirteen pigs shown by Kierstan Rhodes, Cassidy Vento, Cerena Clifford, Taylor Williams, Jared Campbell, Hailee Schilp, Jeremy Goubert, James Johnson, Chesney Oleson, Alexis Garcia, Alexis Cook, Danica Cook, and Gina Torres.

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