FFA’s Hard Work Pays Off at Fair

Members+of+the+Selma+High+FFA+Swine+Team+at+the+annual+FFA+gathering+at+the+Fresno+Fair.+From+left+to+right+Jordyn+Ramirez%2C+Dani+Aragon%2C+Jillian+Ramirez%2C+Mr.+Calvert%2C+Jewel+Allen%2C+Lucy+Freeman%2C+and+Gabriel+Coigny.

Members of the Selma High FFA Swine Team at the annual FFA gathering at the Fresno Fair. From left to right Jordyn Ramirez, Dani Aragon, Jillian Ramirez, Mr. Calvert, Jewel Allen, Lucy Freeman, and Gabriel Coigny.

Diana Garza, Co-Sports Editor

From Monday, October 7 to Sunday, October 12th, FFA was at the Fresno Fair.  FFA, or Future Farmers of America, is an agricultural based, nationally recognized elective. At the Fair, students showed their livestock, while Market animals were auctioned off.  Swine, Sheep, and Steer teams placed highly, occupying a variety of first to fifth places. Junior Jewel Allen received the “Reserve Champion” award in her overall Feeder Market Class.  Junior Lucy Freeman and Sophomore Kendall Hinton placed third in their Market Classes. 

Throughout the program, and especially at the Fresno Fair, students learn more about the agricultural business.  As well as gain experience with animals. High’s Agricultural program with pride.  

FFA stands for Future Farmers of America, this national-elective offered at Selma High is a gateway for students interested in agriculture. Students involved in the program receive the option of raising lambs, swine, and steers.  Students typically receive their animals throughout June and July. Throughout summer and the first few months of school, students primarily work on preparing their animals for the fair. Students were at the farm at 6:45 am and 7 pm to feed their animals, along with after school practices with their livestock. 

Each animal has to be properly trained, and kept in a clean orderly state.

“I trained him almost every night, trying to get him to follow what I’m showing him to do, which takes a lot of work. I also had to bathe him,” said junior Lucy Freeman. 

“In order to get my steer’s trust I walked with him, and practiced setting him up,” added sophomore Kendall Hinton, “I also had made sure he was Market weight.” 

A total of twelve students participated in showing livestock animals. The Market Sheep exhibitors consisted of five students, the Market Swine exhibitors had six students, and only one student exhibited a Market Steer.

At the Fair, students don’t have time to enjoy rides, or sit around eating fried food.  “They are working from the moment they step foot into the barn, oftentimes not getting to break for lunch until way later in the day,” explains Mrs. Chambers, the Market Beef Advisor. 

Judges look for a set number of guidelines. 

“Judges look at how you are with your animal and how they respond to you,” described senior Danielle Uribe. “Also, how the animal looks, their meat, and their structure.”

Students in FFA have a great experience at the fair, and it’s a special part of their high school memories. 

“Honestly, I really love it. I love showing, I’ve shown for three years, and I have really had amazing experiences,” praised Uribe about the program 

“FFA means leadership and it’s definitely a family,” Hinton says.  Students have put hard work into the process. 

“It was tiring, but overall worth it because it was a fun learning experience,” said Freeman. 

Selma High’s FFA team did exceptionally well at the Fresno Fair, and all their hard work definitely paid off.