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More than 70 Santa Maria FFA members won the Sweepstakes Award for student accomplishments in 14 different Career Development Events during the Fresno State Field Day competition held at California State University, Fresno on April 23.

The Career Development Event contests include job skills in everything from agriculture communications to agriculture mechanics and vegetable judging to floral design. Santa Maria High School’s Agriculture Department offers Career Development Events (CDE) in 14 different disciplines.

“CDE competitions allow our students to gain hands-on, real world experiences in a variety of areas of the agriculture industry,’’ according to Shannon Powell, of SMHS’s Agriculture Department. “Winning the Sweepstakes Award at Fresno State shows the dedication of our students and the teachers of Santa Maria FFA. Success in the CDE area has been a long standing tradition and we are proud to keep this tradition alive.”

Santa Maria FFA teams that placed in the top 10 included; Floriculture 8th place, Light Horse 8th place, Best Informed Greenhand 8th place, Milk Quality and Dairy Foods 7th place, Scrapbook 5th place and Agriculture Pest 3rd place.

Soil & Land Judging 3rd place team (with senior Luis Lopez placing 5th individually), Poultry 3rd place team (with senior Nicole Yerena) placing 1st individually, Vegetable Crop 1st place team (with freshman Jennifer De Leon) placing 3rd and (with junior Edgar Hernandez) placing 2nd individually.

Other teams that competed this past weekend included Agriculture Mechanics, Farm Power and Machinery, Livestock Evaluation, and Veterinary Science.

Freshman Jennifer De Leon stated, “Being a member of CDE team is a great experience because it ignites your passion for the agriculture industry as we work in teams and individually. It is a lot of hard work but I am proud to be a member of Santa Maria FFA.”

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.