For Atwater FFA Students, It’s a Year Round Program

Taylor Hillman Education

Atwater High School agriculture students and FFA chapter officers Juliet Montanez,Courtney Creighton, Kelsi Kamesch, Jeff Clark, Belinda Espinoza, Dayana Argueta, and Julie Dailey enjoy their leadership retreat at Lake Tahoe.

Atwater High School agriculture students and FFA chapter officers enjoy their leadership retreat at Lake Tahoe.

For many students, the school year lasts 180 days. For many Atwater High School agriculture students and FFA members, their school year education lasts 365 days.

The primary goals and objectives for agricultural education focuses on academic success, personal growth, leadership, and career exploration. “People need to recognize that although agriculture education is centered around ‘agriculture’, the skills students experience pertain to all education and career endeavors, not just agriculture,” said FFA advisor Dave Gossman. “Agriculture education is a proven education model for ALL kids.

Getting students involved outside the classroom is a primary focus with the Atwater High School agriculture program. Throughout the winter and spring this past year, nearly a hundred students raised livestock for the Merced County Fair. The experience and skills obtained go beyond the animals. “This is about ‘responsibility’ and a ‘work ethic’,” said FFA advisor Sam Meredith. “For many students, this is a taste of what it’s like in the real world and as an adult.” Atwater High School students who raised and exhibited livestock included (swine) Alison Grosbeier, Alyssa Duarte, Amanjot Gandhoke, Amaya Cuen, Amber Miller, Andrew Faretta, Ariana Resendez, Audrey Esau, Austin Conour, Bernadette Sevilla, Breanna Marcelino, Brittany Wiens, Cassidy Kingston, Catalina Diaz, Cheyan Knight, Cynthia Griffin, Daniel Smith,, Daniel Vann, Francis Britton, Hannah Carrillo, Heidi Garcia,Jacob Mooneyham, Jasmine Flores, Jennifer Villalobos, Jordan Turner, Jovanni Navarro, Juan Hernandez, Juliet Montanez, Kasey DeCouteau, Kasey Fleming, Kassia Beznoska

Katarina Correia, Katherine Bettis, Kelsi Kamesch, Krista Trujillo, Kyle Neal, Kyndyl Thomas, Luciana Varela, Madison Hall, Madison Kingston, Michael Marcelino, Natalie Williams, Nicholas Giesbrecht, Renessa Hardin, Ryann Perry, Sam Knight

Sidney Miller, Trystan Giesbrecht, Tyler Russell, Victoria Ortiz, Vince Baraldi, (sheep) Alexandria Cortez, Brooke Ramirez, Cheyenne Birmingham  , Christian Stallworth, Courtney Walsh, Emma Reyes, Erica Perez, Hayley Birmingham, Jennifer Montoya, Juan Hurtado, Kati Ries, Odalys DeLaTorre, (goats) Amanda Skidmore, Aurora Rice, Bailey Weimer, Blake Brigham, Breanna McCartney, Briana Diaz, Chrissy Lewandowski, Christian Ramirez, Courtney Creighton

Dayana Argueta, Hayley Rojas, Ivan Servin, Jacob Chandler, Jeff Clark, Jonathan Garcia, Kendyll Cruz, Kyle Yerrick, Makala Navarro, Marcos Ahmada, Marissa Diaz, Ricardo Ortega, (dairy heifers) Austin Burris, Brittany Wiens, Courtney Walsh, Hannah Van Warmerdam, Joseph Kamesch, Kyle Yerrick, Luke Van Warmerdam, Makala Navarro, Wyatt Pimental, (beef) Wyatt Pimental, Alex Garcia, (rabbits) Austin Burris, Avery Smith, Bryce Keiki, Callie Norton, Cheyenne Mahy, Chris Ramirez, Chrissy Lewandowski, Christina Aguilar, Cynthia Griffin, Dayana Argueta, Eliscea Anzures, Elmer Bustillos, Emma Reyes, Erika Motola , Goldi Vang, Heather Lewandowski, Joseph Avila, Kaoshoua Thao, Kasey DeCouteau, Katarina Correia, Kirsten Knobloch, Krista Trujillo, Luzmila Dena, Summer Russell, and Sydney Ramos. In addition, hundreds of horticulture and agriculture mechanic projects were worked on throughout the spring and summer and showcased before and after the fair

The Atwater FFA recognizes each year the most active, hardworking students from the school year with an incentive trip centered on recreation and fun. Twenty-five students attended a summer San Francisco Giants game which for many was the first time to San Francisco and/or a MLB game.          “It’s always rewarding to share a new experience with students involving travel to somewhere they have never gone,” said Atwater FFA advisor Shelby West. Atwater High School students who earned the 2014-2015 award trip included Alison Grosbeier, Amanda Skidmore, Andrew Skidmore, Austin Burris , Bailey Weimer, Blake Brigham, Callie Norton, Courtney Creighton, Cheyenne Birmingham, Daniel Mesa, Dayana Argueta, Emma Reyes, Jasmine Flores, Jeff Clark, Juan Hernandez, Julianna Daily, Juliet Montanez, Kelsi Kamesch, Madison Hall, Amber Miller, Courtney Walsh, Daryl Dorsey, Hayley Rojas, and Joseph Kamesch

Recently the Atwater FFA took the 2015-2016 chapter officers as well as students who were elected as sectional and regional officers to South Lake Tahoe for a leadership retreat. The opportunity to take students to a place their have never experienced and involve them in various team building and leadership activities provided the program with a strong foundation of students to help inspire, encourage, and motivate this year’s group of new and continuing agriculture education students at Atwater High School.

The Atwater High School Agriculture program continues to be recognized throughout the state and nation as a model education program. “We believe agriculture education and FFA is a quality product people continue to invest in because they see the positive return on their investment through student success,” said Gossman. “We look forward to increasing the quality of the product this upcoming school year!”

For more information on the Atwater High School Agriculture Department and Atwater FFA, please log on the website .