Thursday, October 23, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 33
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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on May 14th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 10

A Santa Maria FFA team gets dirty for the state title

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM


SURVEYING EXPERTS
The Santa Maria High School Future Farmers of America Land Judging Team took the state title this year.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SANTA MARIA JOINT UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

A team from the Santa Maria High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) racked up another state title this year.

The land judging team claimed the 2014 state championship during the Cal Poly State FFA finals on May 3. A press release from the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District said the team showed expertise in examining soil up to 4 feet deep in order to determine whether it was appropriate for crops and buildings or construction.

The team includes senior Valentino Lopez, freshman Daniel Baroza, sophomore Julian Lua, freshman Andres Contreras, and advisor Marc DeBernardi.

Baroza said in the press release that he never doubted how his team would do in the contest.

“I knew we had a shot at the state title,” he said. “It’s a really good feeling to be part of the state champion team.”

Over the course of the last few months, the Santa Maria High School chapter of the FFA has traveled throughout the state to participate in career development events and judging competitions. Amanda Rodriguez, Santa Maria High School’s agricultural teacher, said in the release that traveling helped the students gain confidence in their abilities.

“The FFA program equipped them with skills they can use throughout life and higher education,” she said. “From the classroom to the competitions, they all shined.”

The chapter’s teams have consistently placed in the top five at events all year.

Other teams that snagged top spots at the state competition were the milk quality and dairy foods team, which took third in state; the vegetable crops team, which placed fourth; and the horse judging team, which took fifth this year.