Minarets FFA wins five state championships

Thanks to the hard work of its members and advisers, the Minarets FFA Chapter has had an immensely successful year garnering five different state championships.

Minarets earned the title of State Champion in the contests of Parliamentary Procedure, Land Judging, Forestry, in its Program of Activities, and finally having one of its senior members, Kailey Lemon, win her proficiency area of Wildlife Management for her Supervised Agricultural Experience Project.

Now these teams and individuals will represent the state of California in the National FFA contests this October at the National FFA Convention.

In the Parliamentary Procedure contest, teams conducted a mock chapter meeting to demonstrate their knowledge of parliamentary law and the correct use of parliamentary procedures.

In this highly competitive contest, team members are judged on the quality of their debates as well as the logic they use to conduct the meeting. Presentation and the effectiveness of their meeting are judged in this contest and are a tribute to the ability and skills refined in Minarets High School’s project based learning system.

The team is coached by Kristi Mattes with the assistance of Ben Granholm. The Parliamentary Procedure team is made up of these team members with their positions as follows: Christian Low, chairman, Sienna Pillsbury, secretary, Shyann Mattes, second chair, Teresa Spencer, third chair, David Broyles, fourth Chair, and Michael Warnert, fifth chair.

Individually, Christian Low was named high chairman, Sienna Pillsbury was named high secretary, and Shyann Mattes was named high second chair.

Five of the members of this team have been competing in Parli Pro since their freshmen year, with Christian Low joining as a sophomore. At the national contest, the team will be competing against other teams from each of the 50 states. They will have to go through multiple rounds to eliminate competitors until one team is named the National Champion.

In the CDE Land Judging, the team of four evaluates soil horizons in a six-foot deep pit. Students will measure horizon thickness, determine horizon textures, calculate water holding capacity, erosion, and slope.

They are also required to determine the usefulness of the soil and the landscape, and make recommendations on the best management practices and needs for production agriculture.

The State Finals for the Land Judging CDE is split between the Fresno State Field Day and the Cal Poly Field Day, taking into consideration the scores of each contest to determine the winners.

The critical thinking and decision-making skills needed to be competitive in this contest have been developed by the project-based learning environment and FFA program at Minarets.

This team has been competing for two years and is coached by Chapman. Members include seniors Madi Pearson and Jordan Miles, and sophomores Lily Lopez and Kayleen Nelson.

Individually, Nelson placed fifth overall helping to secure their spot as State Champions. The National Contest for Land is next May in Oklahoma. In the Forestry CDE, members must complete plant ID, tool ID, wood ID and characteristics, timber measurement, log scaling, a knowledge test, calculation of acreage based off pace, a compass course, and a team traverse event.

The team was named State Champions with Calvin Cacy placing first individually and Kailey Lemon placing second. This team has been participating in this contest together since their freshman year, and their dedication and hard work has paid off.

The Forestry team is coached by Heidi Mitchell and team members include seniors Lemon, Cacy, James Hansen, and junior Carson Sloas. At the national contest, students are required to demonstrate their skills in diagnosing forest disorders, managing forests and forest inventory and applying approved silvicultural practices.

The team will have the honor of representing California at the National Contest in Indianapolis this October.

In the area of Wildlife Management, Senior Minarets FFA member Lemon was recently named State Champion. In the Wildlife Management Proficiency, FFA members are involved in wildlife conservation, reforestation, and maintaining wildlife habitats and populations.

For her Supervised Agricultural experience, Lemon has worked at the San Joaquin Fish Hatchery for three years. While working with the hatchery, she has worked with all life stages of a variety of species of trout, growing them for the ultimate goal of repopulating lakes and rivers in the valley.

These fish help to keep the ecosystem in balance and the environment more stable. The hatchery also has educational programs that Lemon helps with to educate the public on the importance of our wildlife and environment..

This summer her application will be sent to the National Scoring in hopes of becoming a National Finalist that will interview in Indianapolis this October during National Convention. She has exemplified hands on agriculture involvement and has made a positive difference in the environment of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

For the second year in a row, Minarets FFA has been named Program of Activities State Champions. A Program of Activities is a booklet that showcases the activities an FFA chapter has participated in as well as the success of its members.

Minarets FFA highlighted its 2015-16 theme, “Minarets FFA, Picture Yourself Here,” by following the theme of photography and pictures throughout the booklet.

Some activities that were highlighted in this year’s POA were National Convention, FFA Meetings, Career Development Events, Supervised Agricultural Experience Projects, and the history of our chapter.

The work that went into updating and creating parts of the POA was done by FFA Second Vice President, Sienna Pillsbury. She worked for several months perfecting the booklet to secure Minarets State Championship.

Minarets High School Correspondent