Clovis East High school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) competition teams will be heading to their state finals competition at San Louis Obispo with some members going into the competition undefeated.
On May 7, the Clovis East FFA chapter will be heading to state finals in San Louis Obispo where some of their competition teams such as their agriculture mechanics, floral design, welding, livestock evaluation, horse evaluation, and veterinary science teams will go to compete against other students in a variety of competitions.
FFA is a national organization with a mission dedicated to teaching students about agriculture. Students use what they learn in the classroom and apply what they were taught in a variety of ways while still learning about agriculture.
Jennifer Knight, agriculture department chair at Clovis East said their meat evaluation team is the most successful this year, going undefeated this season.
“We like to teach students to challenge themselves and to strive for excellence and it’s exciting to see that what the kids are learning in the classroom, they can translate that into a competitive activity outside of class,” Knight said.
For the students involved, practice began as soon as they got back from winter break. Students spend two days a week after school practicing for their team’s competition according to Knight.
Knight said that because of the popularity of the teams, they often times have to be “competitive” within their own teams to see which students get to be the designated students who get to represent the team at the competition since the rules only allow for four members to a team.
“Generally speaking there are about eight or so students on each team. But if we can only take four we set up practice competitions at school during practice and we actually keep score and we keep points so the kids can kind of see how they’re growing and how they’re doing compared to their peers on their own team,” Knight said.
Some students on these teams have dedicated more time than others, with some spending their own time outside of practice making flashcards and practicing for contests according to Knight.
Devin Majors, a senior at Clovis East is part of the meat evaluation team and said he joined because it was a side of the industry he wasn’t familiar with.
“I love telling people about it and I’ve just built a passion for it. The competition and what it’s all about has really showed me the career path that it has and it’s just made me find a passion for it,” Majors said.
Going into the competition season, Majors said once the competitions “started rolling” he knew they had a real chance to be successful.
From his time on the team, Majors has decided to further his education and plans on attending California State University, Fresno where he wants to major in agriculture business and minor in animal science so he can take classes in the meats lab.
Clovis East’s FFA will compete against other FFA chapters for the chance to represent California at the national level at Indianapolis.