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Oakdale FFA Honors Members, Supporters At Banquet
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The Oakdale FFA chapter held its annual awards banquet at the Bianchi Community Center on May 3, handing out numerous achievement awards for its members, as well as recognizing parents and others in the community who’ve been supportive.

Members Lauren Rivera and Tiffany Thompson each received the Star Chapter Farmer award. It is a special award given to the most outstanding second year FFA member and the highest honor within the chapter.

The Oakdale FFA also gave an Honorary Chapter Farmer award to Oakdale Joint Unified School District Superintendent Fred Rich.

“I think they gave me this award because I paid $100 for a cake once,” Rich joked with the audience in reference to the FFA’s annual cake auction fundraiser.

He added that it is important to make sure agriculture is kept alive in the classrooms and the schools.

“He’s helped us so much,” said chapter Reporter Lindsey Giles about Rich. “He’s shown up to all of our events. He’s one of our biggest buyers at the cake auction.”

State FFA degrees were awarded to Nick Moore, Kayla Alfaro, Samantha Callahan, Haley Medley, and Lindsey Giles.

Tanner Morgan was given the Star Greenhand award. It’s awarded to the most active first year FFA member who combines active participation, scholastic and leadership qualities.

Scholastic awards were given to members who had the highest GPAs at each grade level. Monica Jones received the freshman award, Miko Arpoika received the sophomore award, Justin Martin received the junior award, and Greg Borba received the senior award.

Additionally, there were 15 proficiency awards listed as follows.

Ag Mechanics-Dylan Westfall; Beef Production-Haley Medley; Diversified Livestock-Melissa Thompson; Equine Science-Austin Paddock; Floriculture-Daniel Linder; Fruit/Vegetable-Nick Hawks; Home/Farmstead Improvement-Kevin Azevedo; Nursery Operations-Zane Gookin; Landscape-Candace Jones; Poultry-Sam Callahan; Placement in Ag Production-Nick Moore; Sheep Production-Tiffany Thompson; Swine Production-Jordan McCain; Small Animal-Lauren Rivera; Soil and Water Management-Tanner Morgan.

There were also approximately two dozen public speaking awards given to members who participated in Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Creed speaking contests.

The chapter also handed out 26 point awards: 11 to first year members, nine to second year members, and six to third year members. Point awards are for active FFA members and based on collecting a certain number of points based on activities.

FFA advisors Ed Hartzell and Bob Joseph also recognized the horse and livestock judging teams. The members of these teams must evaluate the various species, correctly assign their placings, and give a set of oral reasons without notes to judges at the judging contests.

“I’ve not had a such an outstanding group of four freshmen and one sophomore…in all the years I’ve been here,” Hartzell said of the livestock judging team.

The chapter also installed new officers for the 2011-2012 year.