BY LAUREN OLIVEIRA
Turlock FFA Reporter
Year after year the Stanislaus County Fair has offered an opportunity for children and teens to showcase their diverse projects for the community of Turlock. The fair allows its exhibitors to compete with their projects which offers a chance for students to learn important skills such as sportsmanship and hard work. This year Turlock High FFA students were able to bag many successes for their work with animals, plants, and mechanics.
Turlock High FFA offers many opportunities for their students to get involved with any project they are interested in and go on to showcase it at the county fair. From feeding and walking their animals, potting and watering their plants, and spending time working on their project’s mechanics, Turlock High FFA students put in an immense amount of time to get their projects ready for the county fair. Family members and Turlock High’s agriculture teachers also put in an immense amount of work to help the students get prepared for the fair. The fair serves as an opportunity for students to reap the benefits of their work as students can auction their animals as well as win awards for their efforts.
This year Turlock High FFA had entries in horticulture, mechanics, dairy, horse, swine, sheep, meat and dairy goats, beef, rabbits, and poultry.
In the horticulture portion of the competition, Turlock High FFA’s landscape team won first place in the Cape Cod Division and FFA Best in Show. The members of this team include Elizabeth Boone, Lexy Lockmiller, Haydnn McCormick, Cameron Crutcher, Mikayla Harris, and Elena Arguello. Jimena Cortes and Alexa Cortez won Best of Show Horticulture plants and Dustin Newsome won Outstanding Horticulture Exhibitor. Turlock High FFA also had entries in the cut flower competition with Mikayla Harris placing third.
Turlock High FFA was able to win Outstanding Chapter Group Mechanics with many other awards in the mechanics portion of the competition. Daniel Sanchez won Outstanding Ag Mechanics Exhibitor and Logan Ladd won both the FFA Proficiency in Welding and Outstanding FFA Ag Mechanics Exhibit award. Samuel Sutherland also earned the Most Interesting Contrivance award. One of Turlock High FFA’s standout projects in the fair was the restoration of a 1936 John Deere tractor which gained coverage by the Sacramento news as well as the Don Hall Award otherwise known as the Outstanding Tractor Project Award. Under the direction of Derek Soares team members Justin Avila, Cameron Young, and Nick Salcedo were able to achieve such high praise.
Dairy exhibitors competed with their animals and Turlock High FFA won first place in the Dairy Chapter Group and second place in Replacement Heifer Chapter Group. Jon Chapman was able to win both Outstanding Exhibitor and Grand Champion Holstein. Natalia Lightfoot also did well and won Grand Champion Grade Holstein Heifer. There were many other wins for Turlock High FFA in the dairy portion of the competition that are not mentioned. Beef exhibitors were able to earn Turlock High FFA third place in their Chapter Group.
Turlock High FFA student Betsy Theis was the only one from her chapter to enter the horse portion of the competition. She was able to win first in all of the Western and Gymkhana classes and win the High Point Western and Gymkhana Champion awards. Theis also earned Outstanding Horse Exhibitor.
On July 11 and 12, Turlock High FFA competed in the swine portion of the competition. Caden Moorhouse won first in Novice Swine Showmanship and Esmeralda Farias won first in her market class. Many other entries also placed that are not mentioned. On those same days sheep exhibitors competed with their animals and student Jasmine Sanchez placed fifth in Intermediate Sheep Showmanship.
Turlock High FFA had entries in the Dairy, Meat, and Breeding meat goats portions of the competition. For their Dairy goats, Jaxsyn McCormick earned Reserve Grand Champion Doe and Haydnn McCormick earned Reserve Grand Champion Yearling Doe. In the Meat goat portion, Madi Mendes won second in Novice Showmanship. Morgan Johns won multiple awards for her Breeding meat goat entries and her biggest win was Supreme Champion Buck.
Rabbit exhibitors were able to win third place in Chapter Group with two of the Turlock High FFA students placing in showmanship. In the poultry division, Turlock High FFA was able to score many wins. Dustin Newsome won FFA Reserve Champion Meat Pen, first place in Intermediate Meat Bird Showmanship, and Outstanding Exhibitor with other exhibitors following close behind with placings not far behind in Meat Bird Showmanship. Katheryn Gutierrez was also able to earn FFA Champion Continental with her bird.
Overall, it is safe to say that Turlock High FFA students succeeded highly with their fair exhibitions!