By Colby Jobinger and Jordan Tuttle
O’NEALS — In order to grow their leadership skills and wrap up their year, Minarets FFA members traveled to the State FFA Leadership Conference.
Members attended sessions where they heard the inspirational retiring addresses of FFA State Officers, along with speeches from Alex Sheen, creator of Because I Said I Would, a ‘social movement and nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept.’
The group from Minarets also heard speeches from Deputy State Superintendent Lupita Cortez Alcala and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond. These sessions were the main event of the conference, which also included workshops focused on teaching leadership skills.
For some, this trip wasn’t all play. Three Mustangs competed in speaking competitions, twelve competed in Parliamentary Procedure, and eleven competed in the agriscience fair.
On the first day of conference, after all of the sessions and speakers, all of California FFA attended Disneyland. From 4 p.m. to midnight, members enjoyed running around and going on rides at Disney’s California Adventure. From when the park closed to most visitors at 10 p.m., all the way through to midnight, California FFA had a private park to themselves.
Saturday rolled around and it was time for what every member from our chapter had been waiting for: the Parliamentary Procedure winner announcements. Novice teams went first and the anticipation grew as the Minarets team’s name wasn’t called — it was down to the final three. Then it was down to the final two teams and finally over the loudspeaker “…and your winner is O’Neals Minarets!” Our novice team had just made history becoming the first novice team from our school to win state.
Next came the advanced results, and the nerves returned to all of our members as we watched our advanced team walk onto the stage. Then once again over the loudspeaker we heard, “Your 2019 State Parliamentary Procedure winner is, O’Neals Minarets!” What followed both teams winning was excitement and relief. This will be our chapter’s third trip to Nationals for Parliamentary Procedures, and this was not the last time our chapters name would be called for state champions.
In the agriscience fair, our chapter had several different members compete, including sophomore Davis Cesar who placed third overall in state, and junior Madeline Vellandi taking second. Two of our chapters newer members, freshmen Daphne Christensen and Jadyn Stafford, competed and won their division. They will be moving on to compete at the National level. Our other state champion is someone who is no stranger to winning.
Overall, this year’s California State FFA Leadership Conference was one of tremendous growth for our chapter. We will have nine members representing us on the National stage. We are excited to see where our school’s chapter will go next.
Congratulations to all of the winners, and good luck at Nationals!
— Colby Jobinger
California State FFA Finals
With FFA State Conference under their belt, Minarets FFA headed off to California State FFA Finals at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on May 3 – 4.
What makes State Finals different from State conference?
“State finals is the final competition for all the CDE — Career Development Events — teams that have been competing all year at various events throughout California,” says Minarets senior and FFA member Dilan Basia. “The teams that competed were Ag mechanics, Ag Communications, Ag Issues, BIG, Floral, Forestry, Land, Livestock, Meats, Poultry teams.”
On May 4, Minarets FFA was proud to find out that that three of their very own FFA Judging Teams had placed. Livestock Judging became state champions with senior Michael Rezendes being High Individual and junior Garrett being 5th High Individual. Land, Forestry, and Horse judging all placed third in the state along with Ag Issues.
This has been yet another another outstanding accomplishment for our Mustang FFA and CDE.
Even though CDE season is over, it is highly recommended that Mustangs join these teams. It’s a great way to make new friends, learn new skills, and travel around California. It’s also a great way to get your FFA credits as you get points for each competition that you attend. Talk to an FFA adviser to get more details on the teams since there are different teams for different seasons.
Congratulations to Minarets FFA!
— Jordan Tuttle
Photos courtesy Minarets Press