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Two Santa Maria High School FFA judging teams won state championships Saturday and will now represent the local area at the national level.

Both the Milk Quality & Dairy Products and Poultry Judging teams dominated the state during the contests held at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. The teams will now compete in late October for the National title in Indianapolis, Indiana at the 93th National FFA Convention & Expo.

Two seniors, Citlalli Martinez and Madison Eiler, also won individual championships. Other teams finished with high placings.

Martinez is the California FFA State Champion Individual in Floral Design. Mrs. Amanda Rodriguez, who is also the coach of the Floral Team, stated, “Citlalli was the only returner that I had this year after the remainder of her Floriculture team from the previous year had graduated. Although she had a young team competing alongside her, she still set a personal goal for the year to do well, and she definitely conquered it.”

Eiler was named California State Champion Individual of the Light Horse Judging contest coached by Ms. Carolyn Sherry. Ms. Sherry stated, “I'm very happy for Madison winning High Individual. She has worked really hard this year, and was up against some tough competition. Horse judging is a difficult and very specific contest. I'm so proud of the entire horse team for everything they have done this year.”

The Milk Quality and Dairy Products team is coached by Mr. Mark Powell and consisted of juniors, Ivan Carranza and Stephanie Corona, and sophomores Odalys Martinez and Monica Novoa.

The contest is designed to enhance learning activities related to milk quality, federal milk marketing, attributes of milk products and substitutes for them, according to Saint Agriculture Teacher Shannon Powell. Students are required to evaluate four classes of milk, based on taste, and identify cheese flavors. In addition, the students take a dairy industry knowledge test,’’ Powell added. The Dairy Team members stated, “Being able to compete at the State Finals and winning the State Championship was a dream come true. With our hard work and dedication we were able to make our dream a reality.”

Junior Ivan Carranza said, “After being on the Milk Quality and Diary Foods team for two years, my skills have developed and have enabled me to grow as an individual. I am proud of my team and myself for winning the state championship. We are very excited to head to Indiana to compete at the national level.

The Santa Maria FFA Poultry team also won the State Championship. Coached by Mrs. Amanda Rodriguez, the team members, all seniors, are Samantha Lopez-Juarez, Nayeli Lazaro, Jose Soto, and Salvador Mendoza Barragan.

The poultry contest is designed to allow students to develop a high degree of knowledge and the ability to solve problems in the poultry industry, according to Powell. The contest blends practical hands-on experience with a basic knowledge of the poultry industry required for careers in the poultry field,’’ Powell added.

Coach Rodriguez stated, “I am incredibly proud of my Poultry team. Although it was a tough journey filled with many ups, and some downs, their four years of dedication to learning and commitment to one another has certainly paid off.”

Other Santa Maria FFA results include: 2nd place Agriculture Pest team coached by Sara Araujo, 3rd place Vegetable Crop Evaluation team coached by Shannon Powell, 4th Place Light Horse team coached by Carolyn Sherry, 4th place Soil and Land Evaluation team coached by Marc DeBernardi, 7th place Nursery Landscape team coached by Sara Araujo, 12th place Welding team coached by Melissa Flory, 13th place Floral team coached by Amanda Rodriguez, 17th place Farm Power team coached by Luis Guerra.

The California FFA Association has a membership of more than 85,000 FFA members, in which more than 2,000 FFA members are within the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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