FFA Members Participate in Project Competition


FFA students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and showcase their skills with an agricultural related project called Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE). The students compete against their peers from over 17 schools in their section and their project is judged by college professors and adult members from the local community. Students provide a 15-20 minute speech with visuals and a demonstration related to their topic. Winning categories include gold, silver, and bronze. Students attend a banquet in Merced and receive their award with other FFA organizations in the area.

Nine students competed and received awards:  Brooklyn Silva, Brokton Borelli, Laney Rocha, Owen Baffuno, Larry Borelli, Sophie van Loben Sels, Nathan Campiotti, Karley Rocha, and Kylie Hurd.  Each one takes pride in his/her project.

Brooklyn Silva (11) is in her third year of doing project comp. She based her topic on her work experience, demonstrating and explaining how to properly milk a cow and what happens to the milk when it leaves the animal. From this presentation, she gained a better understanding of how to plan and properly give a presentation, and also how to educate others on the importance of the dairy industry. Brooklyn recommends this activity to other FFA members to teach others about what you know best, and she said, “You can even learn more about your own project or job.”  She received a Silver award.

Brokton Borelli’s (10) project is swine. He demonstrated how to build a bracket to stabilize the walls of the pig pen with a cad program.
He said, “I learned how to improve my speaking skills! and this project was important because it relates to what I want to do in my future.” He received a Gold award.

Laney Rocha (12) demonstrated why farmers take care of cattle hair and the causes of not taking the correct care of their hair. Laney said she found the research on specific hair disease to be interesting. She said, “During this project I found it intriguing how cattle and any other animal can get crazy hair problems if not done correctly.” This project/topic is important to Laney because she takes care of the cattle’s hair everyday on her farm in order to ensure that the animals do not get any of these hair problems. She received a Gold award.  Laney Rocha was awarded the “Frank J. Cozzi– Dos Palos Y Auction Yard” scholarship for her project.

Owen Baffuno’s (10) project this year was his Southpaw Pumpkin Patch. For project competition, he demonstrated how all of the irrigation works and how to set up the fertilizer. He said, “Something interesting that I learned this year farming pumpkins is that there are certain pumpkins that are more resistant to diseases and mildew than others.” Owen also said that pumpkin farming is important because without pumpkins Halloween wouldn’t be as fun! They are a big part of our American culture. Overall, he said this was a very fun year of project competition. He received a Gold award.

Larry Borelli (11) used a school tool for his project. He demonstrated how to safely operate a Mig Welder and CNC plasma cutter. He said, “This involved having the correct safety equipment and then also having them do some things hands on so that they could start to get a feel for how this piece of equipment works.” His demonstration included how to set it up and how to properly and safely operate it. In addition, Larry said he learned more about how to speak in front of a group of people and how to teach somebody something. He received a Gold award.

Sophie van Loben Sels (9) My project is dairy and I demonstrated how to lance an abscess. I learned more about my projects while learning more about abscesses and speaking. My project is important because by teaching people about dairy animal health and proper care helps educate people for the future. She received a Gold award.

Nathan Campiotti’s (9) project was a goat breeding project. He demonstrated ear tagging and also explained the importance of it to better track the spread of the scrapie disease. He said, “I learned that the scrapie disease is a neurological disease that is found in sheep and goats.” This topic is important as scrapie almost always leads to death and is highly contagious. Tracking it through ear tags is important as to not cause an epidemic. He received a Silver award.

Karley Rocha’s (9) project was dairy and she did a presentation on how to treat ringworm. She said, “I learned about the increasing costs of feed and how to do interviews.” She also said that her project is important because dairy cattle provide dairy products and beef. She received a Gold award.

Kylie Hurd’s (10) project was about pressure bombing. She demonstrated how pressure bombing prevents moisture from entering the crop and gives the farmer a better harvest. She learned that pressure bombing is not just used on almonds but other crops as well. She said, “My project is important because it gives the farmer a better crop that year and for years to come. Once moisture enters the tree, it is hard to eliminate it making the pressure bomb an important tool in farming.” She received a Gold award.