Merced County Times Newspaper
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Atwater FFA earns top honors at National FFA Finals


The Atwater High School agriculture program’s FFA Marketing Plan team competed at the National FFA Finals in Indianapolis, Indiana and earned 5th place in the nation.

The team was comprised of Anessa Cardenas, Kaya Briscoe, and Megan Escobar. The Marketing Plan contest seeks to effectively prepare students for the opportunities and expectations of the agricultural business workplace. Students seeking careers in agriculture business must develop a high degree of knowledge and skill as well as the capacity to create and present a marketing plan. Thirty-four states sent teams to the national final event.

In addition to the Marketing Plan’s team competition in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Atwater High School FFA’s state champion Cotton judging team comprised of Michael Bray, Emmanuel Mejia, Luz Soto, and Simarjot Gandhoke joined other FFA members throughout the nation for a Washington DC leadership experience as a reward for winning the state championship.

The students visited Arlington National Cemetery, Ford’s Theater, the Smithsonian museums, the National Archives, monuments, and a special tour of the US Capitol through Congressman Costa’s office were all additional highlights and experiences for the students.

“This was my first time traveling on an airplane, and experiencing something that went beyond my imagination,” said Atwater High School agriculture student Luz Soto. “It is an experience I will never forget.”

The $20,000 cost of the trip was all sponsored and covered through various industry and community donations and fundraisers.

“This was a well-earned experience for our students who got to go and visit places they may never have had the opportunity to visit if it wasn’t for the support of our agriculture industry and community members,” said Atwater High School instructor Kaylyn Davenport. “This will always be a lifelong memorable experience for the students.”

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