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Turlock FFA receives top honor at national convention
Turlock High FFA pic1
Turlock High students Arthur Silveria, Megan Silveira, Daryl Dias, Grant Doerksen, Morgan Nunes, Courtney Estacio and Rachel Coelho were awarded the American FFA Degree at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. - photo by Photo Contributed

This past week, Turlock High FFA was well represented at the 2017 National FFA Convention with nine American FFA Degree recipients and two students competing at the National Level in Leadership Development and Agri-science Fair Events. 

The American FFA Degree is bestowed upon a select group of students in recognition of their years of academic and professional excellence.  This year 4,071 American Degrees were awarded at the 90th National FFA Convention and Expo, held Oct. 25-28 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Turlock High FFA Chapter had nine students who were bestowed with American FFA Degrees: Rachel Coelho, Daryl Dias, Grant Doerksen, Courtney Estacio, Morgan Nunes, Megan Silveira, Arthur Silveria, Alexia Nunes and Tyler Harcksen. 

The American FFA Degree recognizes students who have demonstrated ability and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing or service programs. To be eligible, FFA members must have earned and productively invested $10,000 through a supervised agricultural experience program in which they start, own or hold a professional position in an existing agricultural enterprise. Recipients must also complete 50 hours community service and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities and civic involvement.  Each recipient of the American FFA Degree receives a gold American FFA Degree key and certificate after being recognized on stage at the national convention. The students who receive this award demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences or SAEs. Less than 1 percent of FFA members earn this prestigious award each year.

Along with the nine students receiving their American FFA Degrees, Turlock FFA had two students compete the National Level.  Bobby Marchy competed in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking. For this leadership development event participants are given 30 minutes to prepare a four to six-minute speech on a selected agricultural topic then present it before a panel of judges, the speaker is then subjected to five minutes of questions on the speech topic. Marchy delivered three speeches during the three preliminary rounds and made the top 16 in the nation for this contest. 

Jonathan Moules was the second student from Turlock, competing in Agri-science Fair Event under the category of Social Sciences for Division 5 (11th and 12th grade students).  Moules started his research project over a year ago, surveying agricultural teachers throughout California about their career as an agriculture teacher and the demand of the profession.  His project was titled, “The struggle of California high school agriculture teachers to balance career and family by gender.”  He was recognized as the National Agri-science Fair winner in Social Sciences for Division 5.

The National FFA Organization provides premier leadership, personal growth, and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 225,891 alumni members in 1,934 alumni chapters throughout the U.S. 

— Article submitted by Turlock High FFA