By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Oakdale High FFA Crafts Solid Competition Record
FFA chico 3-15-23
Oakdale High School FFA members came back from the recent Chico Field Day competition with plenty of awards. Shown, from left, Roberto Lopez, Jewlia Word, Nathan Luca, Morgan Long, Leon Airola, Maryn Ludlow, Tyler Bianchi, Sonia Ascencion, Breanna Crowder, Hayley Kuppens, Emma Wucherer, Avery Webb, Jessica Sanders, Rhys Ludlow, Enrique Lopez. Photo Contributed

Oakdale High School Future Farmers of America continues to make its mark in area competitions. With multiple State wins in the past decade, the current student leaders are proving that dedication to the program and its offerings has not only held steady, but continues to grow.

A number of top honors were recently awarded to students during the Chico State FFA Field Day.

According to Agriculture Instructor Isaac Robles, Field Days are hosted by California Ag Colleges.

“We did well. The Livestock Judging Team, they were first High Team Overall,” Robles said.

Winning First High Team Livestock Judging were: Enrique Lopez, Rhys Ludlow, Jessica Sanders and Haley Kuppens.

Rhys Ludlow also earned a First High Individual Livestock Judging and Enrique Lopez took Second in the individual category.

“We practice two to three times a week after school,” senior Ludlow said. “We go to different farms and ranches and we evaluate livestock. There is a lot of preparation that goes into it.”

A four-year member of the OHS FFA Program, Ludlow plans to attend a junior college in the fall and then transfer to a four-year college. He plans to study Animal Science and continue judging at the College level.

Fellow senior Roberto Lopez also plans to take his experience with OHS FFA to help build his future.

“Marketing is kind of one that I really want to pursue, because the degree I want to pursue is Ag Business,” Lopez shared. “So I’ve found that Ag Marketing was a good way to learn about the different forms of Agricultural Businesses and what category they fall under. That’s something big here in the state of California and FFA really provided that opportunity.”

With a total of 19 OHS FFA students attending the Chico Field Day, Robles shared 15 represented livestock judging and four were in cooperative marketing. Both teams took first place as well as top two for each of the individual categories.

Earning First in High Team Cooperative Marketing were Roberto Lopez, Kate Brown, Jewlia Word and Nathan Luca. Brown also earned First in High Individual Cooperative Marketing, with Lopez earning Second Place honors.

“We have kids that are starting to see that they can be every bit as good as any of these kids and they can compete,” Robles said of the program’s expansion and continued success.

“The expectation is to do the best you can,” he continued, “with the goal of winning, doing as well as you can; no different than our sports teams. We’ve had the exact same mantra with the FFA activities. We tell the kids this is like a sport; you’re going to have to practice like a sport and perform like a sport.”

While winning isn’t always the outcome, the instructor shared the students are reminded that it’s not a failure. Learning from the losses is equally as important.

“Those field days are important too,” Robles added of helping prepare for State. “They’re definitely as tough as the big event, they’re just not necessarily ones that count.”

“There was definitely a sense of satisfaction because we work so hard at it,” Ludlow said of the Livestock Team’s success. “But also it’s really neat because I know I’m going to use it in the future so that adds another level to it.”

As a Co-Op Marketing student, Lopez agreed with his FFA colleague.

“Field days for me are a learning experience, not just focusing on the competition itself. I use that opportunity to go out and meet people,” he shared. “I serve as a regional officer, so outside of the Oakdale community it’s a good way to interact with the people I serve.”

Both young men equally offered appreciation to the community, as well as the district and families for the support the program continues to receive.

“Being with a team is like being with a family and Oakdale FFA has really provided that for me,” Lopez concluded.