Believe in FFA

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back row from left to right: Braydon Winslow, Joseph Aguiar, Kaden Tuttle, Taylor Adams, Dalton Lowrie, Jordan Cobaugh from row left to right: Sandra Valdez, Anthony Carrillo, Montana Maggenti, Marin Spalding, Madison Wanzie

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The FFA Creed explains that the National Future Farmers of America believe that the future of agriculture relies on the faith of deeds and not of words. While words may not be the foundation of the FFA organization, they most certainly help amplify the aspirations and goals FFA members have for their future in agricultural.

On Friday, Jan. 18, 11 Winters High School FFA students participated in the Yolo Section Speech Contest at UC Davis. The FFA speech contest is split up into six different events; Prepared Public Speaking, Creed Speaking, Job Interviews, Impromptu Public Speaking, Parliamentary Procedure and Conduct of Chapter Meetings. Each event is designed to develop valuable speaking skills that are essential to be a professional and competent representative of the FFA Organization and Agricultural Industry.

Marin Spalding and Madison Wanzie both participated in the Prepared Public Speaking event. They spent countless hours prior to the competition researching a current agricultural topic of interest and preparing a creative and informative speech to present for a panel of judges. Spalding impressed the judges, taking first place with her speech on rising suicide rates for farmers and the government’s involvement with the pesticides being used in agriculture.

“Public speaking has helped me develop critical thinking skills that will help me tremendously if I decide to pursue a career in Agricultural Law,” said Spalding.

Spalding was not the only Winters High School FFA member to leave a lasting impression on the judges: Five other Winters High School students achieved high rankings in their assigned event.

Joseph Aguiar, Kaden Tuttle, Sandra Valadez and Braydon Winslow all participated in reciting the National FFA Creed from memory and then answered three questions pertaining to it. The judges scored each contestant based on their self-confidence, power and ability to present the FFA Creed in an organized and professional manner, which resulted in Aguiar placing second and Tuttle placing third.

“It was my first time public speaking. We practice the FFA Creed all throughout the year, but it still took me about 2 weeks to memorize it word for word,” said Winslow.

Winters High School FFA students turn to the FFA Creed to guide them in upholding the values and beliefs that are cherished in the agricultural industry and FFA organization. The FFA Creed guides students to generate leadership and career skills, as well as developing skills that will help them have a positive influence in their community.

Students involved in the FFA organization are training to be the future of the agricultural industry. The Job Interview event is designed to test students’ ability to perform effectively throughout the employment process. Dalton Lowrie, Jordan Cobaugh and Taylor Adams all prepared a cover letter and resume, completed an application and participated in a mock interview for a career of their choice within the agriculture industry. Adams impressed the judges and placed second in this event.

“FFA has helped me develop a passion for the agricultural industry. After I graduate I plan on attending Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo and then transferring  to California Polytech State University to study Agricultural Business,” said Lowrie.

While career preparedness is an important skill learned through the FFA program, students also develop skills that will help them become confident and influential members of their community.

The Impromptu Public Speaking event is designed to test students agricultural knowledge and their ability to think on their feet. Anthony Carrillo and Montana Maggenti each drew three random agricultural prompts and then chose the topic in which they were most confident to present for a panel of judges. In this event Carrillo placed first and Maggenti placed fourth. Their outstanding scores were based on their presentation skills, articulation, logic and their ability to advocate for the agricultural industry.

The achievements won that day made the discomforts and challenges of agricultural life seem trifling. All of a sudden, the variety of aspirations and goals being pursued seem to be more attainable and less intimidating. It was a great day to be in FFA.

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