Eight members of the FFA (Future Farmers of America) will be representing Riverbank High School at the 2013 Cal Poly State FFA Judging Finals in San Luis Obispo on Saturday, May 4.
Riverbank High School ag teacher, Isaac Robles, has been preparing since December with his two teams for the competition. This is Robles’ first year at Riverbank High School but he has spent most of his life in the ag world. He was an ag teacher in Porterville for 13 years and his father was a farm manager at Modesto Junior College. He teaches Ag welding, Ag Mechanics, and Ag Biology at Riverbank High.
“I am originally from Modesto, so I feel like I am back home,” said Robles.
The two competitions the FFA students will be competing in are livestock judging and ag welding. The Livestock Judging team members are Kevin Snyder, Scott Snyder, Nathan White, and Oscar Carillo and the Ag Welding members are Zack Woods, Austyn Cruse, Ryan Stiner and Antonio Perez.
“Every student in every ag class by default is an FFA member,” said Robles. “Some choose to be more active than others and participate more than others.”
The livestock contest involves judging beef, sheep, and swine. The students will deliver four oral presentations, one for beef, one for sheep, and two for swine that are two minutes each to the judges.
Robles explained that it is similar to a body building contest. They will look at the muscle, shape, definition, and symmetry of the animals.
“It really goes beyond just saying this is a good one or this is a bad one,” said Robles.
The students have spent time learning how to identify breeds, market economics, breeding principals, among other things, according to Robles. They also learn about the genetic profile of an animal.
“It’s a tough contest,” said Robles. “We are the smallest FFA chapter in the county and it’s not going to deter us.”
Cal Poly has been hosting the State finals since 1934. The winning teams from each contest will represent California at the national finals held in Indianapolis in October.