Nearly sixty Arvin High School (AHS) Future Farmers of America (FFA) members, in teams of six, competed in the Kern-Inyo section opening and closing speech competition held at Bakersfield College. Teams made up of presidents, vice presidents, secretaries, treasurers, sentinels, and reporters took turns opening and closing meetings in various divisions including officer, freshman, novice, open A, open B, and Spanish categories.
This FFA competition is traditionally dominated by other schools in the KHSD, with each taking turns winning and showcasing the perpetual sweepstakes trophy for the year. This year, the sweepstakes trophy will find a home with the Arvin Bears.
“Arvin High’s FFA program works very hard and continually strives for excellence in everything they do. The FFA teacher leadership team has set the bar extremely high instilling Bear PRIDE, Honesty, integrity and leadership skills in their students.” – Ed Watts, Principal, AHS
Lesli Arellano is a sophomore at AHS who competed in the Novice Division. Her team consisted of first-year FFA members that have never competed before. All of her teammates were sophomores as well. The group placed first and two team members received high individual honors in that division. Vanessa Ramos was named President and Paola Mendoza received Vice President recognition for their excellent contributions to the team.
Arellano says this experience is benefitting and encouraging her now on many levels and will continue to do so in the future; “It has helped me become a better speaker and become more confident. I would like to further my education and hopefully own my own agriculture business one day.”
“We truly believe in our teams’ abilities to compete, and they always do, but this has never happened before. We have had several individual team wins and high honors in the past, but to have this kind of performance! All I can say is it’s comparable to winning a league championship in sports. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” – Don Mills, Ag Department Chair, AHS
Mr. Mills thanked a number of people including Mr. Goodding for his time as co-coach; Mrs. Leyva for working so closely with the students; Mrs. Cantu for help with uniforms; Mrs. Gonzalez for coaching the Spanish team, Academy teachers and staff; and the AHS administration for their support of the program.
Principal Ed Watts says he is very pleased with the FFA team and appreciate their servant style of doing business at school and with the community.
“Mr. Mills and his students are instrumental in the success of our Principal Partner’s day activity every year by greeting and serving breakfast to our honored guests. I am very proud of our FFA team for continuing to represent Arvin high school with the utmost in professionalism and competitive spirit. This group of young men and women are very deserving of this great honor.” – Ed Watts, Principal, AHS