As Turlock High School senior Robert Marchy walked over to the agriculture buildings on the school campus Thursday afternoon he was met with shouts of “turn around, let’s see it!” Just like a boxer proudly wearing their championship belt, Marchy’s new blue corduroy jacket was attracting attention.
Marchy was elected to a California FFA state officer position this week — an honor a Bulldog hasn’t held in almost 30 years — and his fellow FFA students were excited to see his FFA jacket embroidered with his new title, State Sentinel.
“It’s a big accomplishment for our chapter,” said Turlock High ag teacher Randee Prada-Vitorino. “Our students are very proud of him.”
It’s not just the ag students who are proud of Marchy’s new position. A large yellow banner adorns the Turlock High sign near the cafeteria building congratulating the Bulldog on being chosen to represent his school and town at the state level.
“There’s no other experience or opportunity like it,” said Marchy.
Marchy was selected out of 81 applicants for the position, which was narrowed down to 45 candidates by a committee. He then had to campaign for the seat against another candidate during a question and answer session in front of approximately 7,000 FFA members at the state convention held in Fresno this week.
It’s no surprise that Marchy did well during the public speaking campaign, as the Turlock High student took first place in the Extemporaneous Speech competition at the state convention. He also took first place in Dairy Cattle Production.
The Turlocker and his fellow student leaders will take a year off from college to travel the state advocating for agricultural education and serving the membership.
His duties as a FFA “ambassador” will help him with his goal of a career in agriculture communication and education.
“it’s not just about farming,” said Marchy about the benefits of FFA. “It gives student leaders the strength to be an effective communicator.”
Marchy will serve alongside President Luke O’Leary of San Luis Obispo, Vice President Jasmine Flores of Atwater, Secretary Genevieve Regli of Ferndale, Treasurer Armando Nevarez of Holtville, and Reporter Hunter Andrade of Tracy.
Marchy wasn’t the only Bulldog to earn awards at the state convention. Jonathan Moules took first place in the Agri-Science competition.
Pitman High FFA had 18 kids attend the state convention, including state officer candidate Hannah Cross and state scholarship candidate Hailey Atwood. Carolyn Boster was named a state band member and Mary Wright was selected for a state subcommittee chair position. Pitman has three Career Development team compete at the state convention — Floral, Poultry and Welding.