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SMHS FFA Winner back button

SMHS FFA member Amanda Silva recently showed horses care about how you feel during an experiment and earned the Agriscience Animal Systems Research Proficiency Award at the 89th State FFA Leadership Conference in Fresno, CA.

Silva’s project began when she decided to conduct a scientific experiment within her Agriculture Chemistry class last year. As part of the experiment, she decided to test the effects of different human emotions on her show horse’s behavior over a period of three weeks.

With her horse Dani, she tested happiness, sadness, excitement, and anger. Silva accomplished this by playing the same recordings daily (at different times) and then she would go about her normal routine of working with Dani in order to see if they had any effect on his behavior.

"I am very excited to win this award and to possibly be able to move onto the National level," said Silva who will now compete for the West Coast Regional title to see if she qualifies as a National Finalist. "I really wanted to conduct an experiment that interested me, and I never thought that I would make it this far with my project."

The Agriscience Animal Systems Research Proficiency Award honors students who conduct scientific planning and experimentation based on a hypothesis and the use of the scientific method of investigation on the hypothesis. This may include qualitative, quantitative, experimental, descriptive and quasi-experimental research. In addition, the primary focus of the experiment should be relative to the life processes, health, nutrition, genetics, management and processing of animal systems related to small animals, aquaculture, livestock, dairy, horses and/or poultry.

The State Award was sponsored by the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association, and the National Award is sponsored by the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation.


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