Chino Valley FFA Students Excel At the 60th Annual Yavapai County 4H/FFA EXPO
On April 18-25 students from all over Yavapai County participated in the 60th annual Yavapai County 4H/FFA EXPO. The Yavapai County 4H/FFA EXPO has been a staple of ambitious young students in their agricultural pursuits for 60 years. The 4H/FFAEXPO is a place where students can showcase months, sometimes years, of their diligent hard work.
This year the Chino Valley FFA student's accomplishments were above and beyond their expectations. Numerous FFA students participated in various classes, and made memories that they will cherish forever. Madalyn Zambrano said that being a part of FFA and the EXPO "Kids learn leadership skills, life skills, and how to raise a quality animal so that the buyers will enjoy the end product.. When we sell our animals, most of us kids put the money back into our project for next year, and a lot of us are saving up money for college." Madalyn wanted people to know that "without support from the community, and help from Mr. Larsen, the FFA advisor, none of us would have done as well as we did." At the EXPO students may exhibit animals ranging from guinea pigs, rabbit, poultry, sheep, goat, swine, horses, dogs, to steers.
Indoor exhibits are also a highly popular part of EXPO participants. Every year the show culminates with a highly successful auction for the market animals that the public has been supporting for the 60 year run of the show.
One of the ways the community supports the FFA and EXPO is by purchasing animals at the auction. When asked why he has supported the EXPO Auction the last 2 years Scottsdale businessman and part time Chino Valley resident Mike Aaby said "These kids work hard all year, learning life skills by raising these animals. By buying a market animal at the EXPO not only am I getting superior quality meat for my family at a huge value, but I am also helping local kid as they prepare for their future." Buyers come from all over the west to purchase these high quality market animals from the auction for their families, and businesses, and even community groups.
This year Chino Valley FFA students won numerous blue ribbons, and championship titles. The top placing exhibitors from Chino Valley FFA were; Chelsey Ludwig Best In Class Market Swine Duroc; Matt Warren- Reserve Champion Breeding Ewe; Bailey Gonzales- 1st aged Ewes, 1st Fall ewes, 1st pair of ewes; Will Culp - Grand Champion Market Steer & Reserve Champion Sr. Showmanship; Sadie Somers- Cavy Best of Breed; Rabbit Best of Breed; Best in Class Market Swine, Cow Calf Pair 1st; Beef Heifer 1st; Dairy Heifer 1st; Grand Champion Intermediate Beef Showmanship; Grand Champion Intermediate Round Robin; Kirby Grow- Reserve Champion Novice Swine Showmanship ; Madalyn Zambrano- Best in Class Market Swine Cross Bred; Reserve Champion Best of Breed Cross Bred; Novice Champion Swine Showmanship ; Toni Hull- Cavy Best of Breed, Chicken Reserved Champion intermediate Showman, Pigeon Intermediate Showman Reserved Champion, Dairy Intermediate Reserved Showman; Kate Hull - Cavy Best of breed and best of show, Rabbit best of breed, Rabbit Grand Champion Showman Intermediate, Grand Champion off-leash Dog, Grand Champion Intermediate Small Stock Showman; Grace Somers- Reserve Grand Champion Market Steer, Reserve Round Robin Champion, Reserve Hampshire Market Hog, Grand Champion Sr. Dog Showman, Sr. High Point Dog Showman, Grand Champion Obedience Sr., Best of Class Market Swine.
The Chino Valley FFA did amazing and really appreciated the support that they got from the community. Kaley Jackson 10th grader "Wants the community to know that the EXPO is a lot of work, and we loved everyone's support. We (FFA students) are representing our school and community, and we do our best to make the community want to be involved"
There were many new things at the EXPO this year, including a dance. It was a highly welcomed new addition. When asked what her favorite part of EXPO was this year 7th grader Sadie Somers said "Definitely the dance, it was nice to relax and have fun with all of my friends after working hard all year and week." The dance was held in the Freeman building, where pizza and soda were served to the hard working FFA members.
The Chino Valley FFA program offers students numerous opportunities to explore different aspect of the agriculture industry and prepare for life after high school and college. Exhibiting a project animal at the EXPO is only one of the many projects that students can have. Melissa Smith, a 4 year member of the Chino Valley FFA and participant in Public Speaking at the EXPO thinks that "kids should join FFA and have some sort of project because it is fun and definitely not just for farmers!" When asked what she has gain from her 4 years of participation with FFA and the EXPO Melissa said that she "has learned to be a better leader and role model, I have met a lot of new people and friends, had many new experiences, and I gained some insight into what I want to do with my life." 10th grader Bailey Gonzales recommends students join FFA because "you become a part of a different family, and you make tons of new friends." When asked what she has gained from being part of the Chino Valley FFA program Bailey also added that "I know that I will be able to manage money and form a budget when I am out of school".
Being a part of EXPO is a great community building event, and a great place to support students who work hard to keep busy and stay out of trouble .Kaley Jackson 10th grader "Wants the community to know that the EXPO is a lot of work, and we could use everyone's support. We (FFA students) are representing our school and community, and we do our best to make the community want to be involved".
Students really appreciate those adults and students who are a part of the EXPO. Tyler Cutlip, 7th grader "thinks that being involved in FFA and the EXPO is a great learning experience, and its fun!" When asked what she took away from her participation at EXPO this year 9th grader Emma Croshaw commented that "Every kid (at the EXPO) was full of wonderful advice, and the adults were there for you no matter what. I am really looking forward to next year!" Senior Will Culp wanted everyone to know that "The People involved with the EXPO are hard workers. The kids raise quality livestock for buyers and they all really enjoy it"
Students are already making preparations for next years EXPO. The Chino Valley FFA students and all EXPO participants would like to thank all who were involved with making this years EXPO great. We would also like to thank all of the volunteers, board members, sponsors, donors, parents, and buyers who keep the EXPO going year after year. Thank you and see you next year!
2009 Chino Valley FFA Students and Their Projects:
Name Grade Project
Hannah Swope 10th=2 0grade Horse, Pig
Will Culp 12th grade market steer
Matt Warren 12th grade breeding ewe, market lamb
Bailey Gonzales 10th grade market lamb, breeding ewes
Kaley Jackson 10th grade market swine
Tyler Cutlip 7th grade market swine
Emma Croshaw 9th grade market swine
Chelsey Ludwig 7th grade market swine
Sadie Somers 7th grade market swine, market steer, beef cow calf pair, breeding beef heifer, dairy heifer, rabbit, cavy (guinea pig), horse, dog
Maddie Zambrano 7th grade market swine
Grace Somers: 10th grade market swine, market steer, breeding ewe pair, beef cow calf pair, breeding heifer, horse, dog
Toni Hull: 7th grade cavy (guinea pig), rabbit, chicken, dog, pigeon, dairy heifer
Kate Hull: 9th grade cavy (guinea pig), rabbit, chicken, dog, pigeon
Melissa Smith: 12th grade, prepared speaking, demonstrative speech (EXPO results only as that is the focus of this article)
Jordan Williams: 11th grade prepared speaking