Farm, Fresh, Fun. The 2017 summer was a great experience for all of the Buena Park FFA livestock students. All their preparation throughout the school year finally paid off at the OC Fair livestock ring from July 13 - 23rd. This year Buena Park students raised steers, pigs, lambs, goats, rabbits and turkeys. Many students have been raising their projects for over 9 months; cleaning, feeding and taking care of them. For many, it was their first time raising an animal and for others, their last time in the showring.
Fair kicked off on Friday, July 14, 2017 for the sheep and goat participants. The FFA members showing their goats placed in the top two in the respective classes and received 3rd place for Chapter Group. All 12 FFA members in the sheep group placed within the top 5 of their classes and 7 of them advanced to the final round to compete for FFA Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. Edwin Madrid received FFA Grand Champion Market Lamb & Reserve Supreme Market Lamb. Danyel Wickoff received FFA Reserve Grand Champion Market Lamb. Buena Park FFA Chapter received 1st Place for Chapter Group for Market Lambs.
FFA members from the goat and sheep groups participated in the showmanship competition that occurred on Saturday, July 15th. In showmanship, students are judged on their capability of presenting their livestock projects in the best way; showing muscle, structure and balance in the animal. Isabel Trout received 7th place in Advanced Showmanship for Goats. Kelly Cottledge and Tanner Coombs progressed to the final round for novice showmanship. Kelly Cottledge received 3rd place in Novice Showmanship and Tanner Coombs received 5th place in Novice Showmanship for sheep. Danyel Wickoff also made it to the final round of advanced showmanship and received 3rd place.
Small livestock projects were also shown at the Orange County Fair during that weekend. On Saturday, July 15th, Paulina Cortez represented Buena Park FFA with her market tom turkey. Paulina Cortez showed the qualities of her tom to the judge and received 4th place for her market weight class. On Sunday, July 16th, five FFA members participated in the market rabbit judging competition showing off their meat pens (group of three rabbits). All members did a great job showing their pens and Jessica Mendez advanced to the grand champion round receiving 3rd place.
Beef projects were shown on Sunday, July 16th. Danyel Wickoff and Andrew Wickoff represented Buena Park FFA with their two steers, Moose and Curly. Danyel and Andrew both received third place within their market classes. Danyel moved to the final round for advanced showmanship and received seventh place.
The FFA swine team showed their pigs for market judging on Wednesday, July 19th. All members within the swine team did an exceptional job showcasing their swine projects within their market classes. Many students placed in the top three for their market classes. Edwin Madrid received FFA Grand Champion Market Hog & Reserved Supreme Champion Market Hog. Buena Park Chapter received 1st place for Chapter Group. FFA members showed their showmanship skills on Thursday, July 20th. Out of the 17 students that showed for Buena Park swine team, 15 of them were in the final round for showmanship. In novice showmanship Jessie Briseno placed 9th, Audori Scott received 7th, Brenda Martinez placed 6th, Sierra Perkins placed 5th, & Brandon Deras placed 4th. In advanced showmanship Edwin Madrid received 12th, Lilliann Meek 11th , Alex Aguilar 8th, Gabriel Berry 6th & Brian Velazquez placed 2nd.
Overall the Orange County Fair was a success for the Buena Park FFA program this year! Students and advisors had a great time showcasing the student projects that they worked so hard on for multiple months. If you are interested in knowing more about the Buena Park FFA chapter or want to stay connected with events, please go to www.BuenaParkFFA.com or follow us out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @BuenaParkFFA.
National FFA week was on February 20th - February 24th. The Buena Park FFA Chapter hosted a week full of fun activities and dress up days. It is one week out of the year were we as a chapter we can inform the people about the National FFA program. The dress up days were yellow and green for John Deere day on Tuesday, dress up like a farmer on Wednesday, wear U.S.A colors on Thursday, and blue and gold on Friday. Everyday during lunch there were fun activities where students could participate and earn some FFA points. FFA members also encouraged other students outside of the program to participate in the activities. Some of the activities that we did were animal scavenger hunt and ag olympics. For the animal scavenger hunt everyone needed to be in a team of two. Students had to work in pairs where one student used their hands and the other student could not see. They had to work together in order to be able to find the animal. The ag olympics were very exciting. Students had to go through obstacle course and do specific activities. The students had to dress up like a farmer, drink milk or orange juice, run up a the hill and bring down the hay bale, run with an egg on the spoon, and finally give your partner a piggy back ride all the way to the finish line. We received a lot of participation from our students and also some who don’t have agriculture.
Even though National FFA Week is over, the push to encourage and educate other students and members of the community about agriculture is constantly going. Ag Education will be having their Ag Tours starting this week where six local elementary schools will be visiting the Buena Park FFA Farm. Elementary students will given hands on activities to teach them about agriculture and where their food comes from. Students will be going to various stations throughout the farm and will learn everything from parts of a flower, water conservation, seeds, pest, fertilizer, California crops, livestock, and much more! Students that will be participating are all 3rd graders. Buena Park Ag Education students are very excited for them to come to the farm and to learn more about agriculture!!
The Buena Park FFA Chapter held its 2nd annual Greenhand - Chapter FFA Degree Ceremony earlier this month at Buena Park High School. The purpose of this annual event was to recognize 75 Freshman and 40 members of BPHS agriculture students who were eligible for their FFA Greenhand and Chapter FFA degrees. As students advance in FFA and their agricultural education, they can earn a series of “degrees” that represent their accomplishments. Each FFA degree recognizes a student’s progress in leadership, agricultural education, and their supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program which represent(s) an ownership and/or work experience project(s) in agriculture.
Over 120 students, family, and friends attended this special event. Buena Park FFA Meetings & Banquets Chairman, Tonatiuh Perez opened the meeting and welcomed students, parents, and guests to the ceremony. In addition to the presentation of the FFA degrees, Kelly Cotledge read the FFA Creed before the Greenhand candidates received their degrees.
The members who were eligible the FFA Greenhand degree were given a bronze pin to show their accomplishment as an agriculture student. Requirements of this degree include enrollment in an agriculture class, plans for an SAE program or project, and knowledge and understanding of the FFA organization. The members who were eligible to be awarded with a silver pin to second year agriculture students. Requirements for this degree include being an FFA member for at least one year, being active in a SAE program or project with having 100 hours or 150 dollars in profit, involvement in group discussions and parliamentary law, progress toward individual achievement in the FFA awards program, and a satisfactory scholastic record, have invested 25 hours of community service,.
The Buena Park FFA advisors are committed to building a strong program that gets students involved and providing them with opportunities for scholastic achievement, personal growth, and career success. Although not every student is planning to pursue an education and career directly related to agriculture, the BPHS Agriculture Program and FFA provides students the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience that will benefit ANY educational path and career.
Buena Park FFA Publicity Committee Vice chairman
The Buena Park Agriculture Program is donating presents to the Salvation Army to give to people in need who can’t provide Christmas presents to their children. Students who would like to volunteer receive a tag with a certain age group and suggestions on a gift. The tags were given out in the beginning of November and had the whole month to get the gift. The gift must be unwrapped and delivered to their teacher with the tag attached. It’s hosted every year and students receive points while participating in the event. This is a way the Agriculture Program helped out the community during the holidays.
Buena Park FFA’s Fundraising and Community service committee hosted a Scary Farm event, which took place on October 25th and 26th of 2016. The Fundraising committee planned out a scary maze in Buena Park’s Farm with games to entertain the students who came to the event. The Scary Farm had over 20 students dressed in doll and clown costumes. The maze started on one side of the cattle barn and snaked through to the large arena. When students came to the arena they were greeted by scary clowns, ghosts and a graveyard. It was the largest turn out we have had!
Games such as "Witch Pitch" where 2 people had to compete in eating a donut on a string without using their hands. Another game was "Pin the Boo on the Ghost", which a person was blindfolded and spun around 4 times and they had a boo and had to pin it on the ghost. Other activities such as face painting, pumpkin guessing and tractor races entertained many of the students and younger children. Vanessa Delgado, an FFA member, said, “I think it was a very fun experience.” Marina Villanueva said, “the scary maze was the best part.”
Our next fundraiser will be our "Farm to Fork" event that will happen in the spring semester. Keep checking on website to get more information.
Written By: Brian Velasquez, Publicity Vice Chairman
Every year, Buena Park FFA take the selected leadership members go to a retreat to plan events, update calendars, make any changes to the committee structure, and participate in leadership activities . This years 2016 - 2017 leadership members are 12 students who are willing to make their chapter better. Every member was selected to be in charge of one of the four committees. The Supervised Agricultural Experience(S.A.E) & Career Development Events (C.D.E) committee leaders are Lilliann Meek (chair), Paulina Cortez (vice chair), and Nancy Chacon Mendoza (secretary). The Fundraisers & Community Service committee leaders are Devan Muro (chair), Maria Gaeta (vice chair), and Jorge Castaneda (secretary). The FFA Meetings & Banquets committee leaders are Tonatiuh Perez (chair), Edwin Madrid (vice chair), and Danyel Wickoff (secretary). The Publicity committee leaders are Jessica Mendez (chair), Brian Velazquez (vice chair), and Isabel Trout (secretary). Our advisors are Jessica Fernandes, Jacqueline Ioimo, and Scot Worrell. At the retreat the leadership team did many things to get ready for the school year and also getting to know each other.
First day of retreat we reviewed the agenda, did department updates, committee training session, a leadership activity, and a team building activity. Jacqueline Ioimo did a leadership activity on communication. The activity was suppose to show us that communication is very important when it comes to everyone trying to get the correct information to give out to our committee and members. The activity involved string that was tied to make holes to go through. Every person had to go through a hole without you touching the string and can only go through one hole once. We had two rounds to try to accomplish the task. At the end of the first round we had a discussion on what was working and what did not. When we did it the second time we succeeded and we also saw how important it is to communicate to each other. Later in the day we got time to plan out some of the events, ways to get people involved in our committee, and many other things. Scot Worrell did a team building activity on listening skills and giving directions. To be a great leader you must be able to give clear and very specific directions. Also giving directions isn’t just saying them, you also have to listen to directions been given to you. The activity involved one person listening to the instructions given to them and had to draw a picture to those directions. The other person gave the directions on the image that was already drawn and it was considered as the one million dollar idea. We had three round so that everyone had a chance to give directions and listen. In the last round we got to choose what part we wanted to play in the activity. This activity demonstrated that giving directions and listening are very important because you need to give specific, clear,and understandable directions to your committee and members. Also listening is as important too.
Day two of retreat we did leadership training activities, planning session, chapter goal and constitution. Jessica Fernandes did a leadership training about “My Whole Self”. The meaning of the training was for us to see what we as leaders have to give, believe, need, and fear. In the next leadership activity Jessica Mendez did it on delegating and taking responsibility. The activity was suppose to demonstrate that by separating the work amongst each other the job will get done faster and no one will be overworked or stressed. The activity involved for one to two people tying string and one to two to be runners. The runners can only get one string at a time and can not leave until the string is tied. They had two rounds to accomplish the task. By the end of the first round we all had a discussion on what worked for them and what they could have done better. The second time we had a winner and had another discussion on how this can help our committees. Later in the day we had another planning session with our advisors and discussed about the personality test last year and events we want to do during the school year. In the afternoon Devan Muro did a leadership activity on service above self. This activity demonstrated that in order to be a great leader we do not need to put ourselves first above the rest of our committee or members. The activity involved balloons and we had to keep the balloons in between us. We also had to walk without letting them fall and we couldn’t touch them either. We did two rounds and had a discussion on what it means to have service above self. After the activity was done we had time to get ready to take pictures and have dinner in a fancy restaurant. We had three more things to do before we go to sleep and those were chapter goals, constitution, and one more leadership activity. Scot Worrell lead a conversation on chapter goals and the constitution. For chapter goals we had to decide what we wanted to accomplish during the school year as a chapter which one of them is the national chapter application. For the constitution we had to review and make sure if there is anything that needs to be added, reworded, or removed. For our last leadership activity of the day Lilliann Meek did it on organization, time management, and task manager. In the activity she showed us a video on how much time a human has on earth and from all that time we eat sleep, drive, etc. With the time you have left over what will you do with it and we had a discussion on how much of that time we waste on watching tv and playing video games. We also had to work together on building a house of cards. By the end of the day we had time to ourselves and we all decided that we should play a game. We all had lots of fun.
Last day of retreat we did a leadership activity and our last planning session. The last leadership activity was done by Tonatiuh Perez and it was on presentation skills. The activity showed us the proper way to present a presentation. Some skills we learned were to be dressed professionally, have short slides, and being confident. In the activity he showed us a video on do’s and don’ts when it comes to presenting. We also played two truths and one lie to see who does best on their presentation skills. By the afternoon we had our last planning session and filled in the calendar for the school year. The last thing before we left the cabin was share our committee plans. By the end of the retreat we all had a great time and got to bond with each other. We got to discuss about our chapter and what we want to accomplish within the school year. We also shared our committee structure and plans. We all had a great time and got something out of it. Jorge Castaneda “I noticed that it takes a lot of hard work in order to achieve a goal,” Jorge Castaneda stated. “I feel proud of this accomplishment and I really enjoyed the retreat. I thought it was educational and acquired many new skills because of it.”
The Buena Park FFA will also be participating the in the Orange County Fair from July 15th - July 24th at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Members will be exhibiting their animal projects such as sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, turkeys and calves. Students will be selling their animals on Saturday, July 23rd starting at 9:30 AM. If you are interested in supporting our program, please feel free to come by and check out our FFA member’s projects!
By Jessica Mendez, Chairman of Publicity Committee
Great Article, Radio Spot, and Video produced at the Buena Park high school farm during the visit by BBC News.
Check out the article and video produced by BBC News after their visit to the Buena Park High School farm.
Funding for Agriculture Programs in the state of California are under fire. Read more about it in this article in the OC Register.
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