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Nine El Capitan FFA Members Win State Title

By Branyon Bliss

El Capitan FFA Chapter Reporter


El Capitan FFA will be heading to the National FFA Finals with nine students who have won a State Championship title, announced at the State FFA Leadership Conference and State FFA Finals competitions. These students have spent months working hard to achieve this goal with the combined help of their agriculture advisors and coaches. Students will receive an all expense paid trip to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention and Career Development Event Finals in October. 


Jiashee Thao was a State Proficiency Winner in the area of Vegetable Production. Jiashee grows vegetables and sells them at farmers markets around the state. El Capitan Agriculture Teacher, Ms. Celia Casso said, “Jiahsee works hard to grow her business each year. She is always innovative and it is exciting to see what crops she chooses to grow and sell to meet consumer demand.” Jiashee just finished her first year at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she is majoring in plant science. 


Seven Career/Leadership Development Event teams from El Capitan FFA competed at the State FFA Finals at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo on May 7th. The Agriculture Welding team consisted of  Hunter Gibson, Dylan Robinson, Joshua Col, and Aaron Greggins. These students placed 4th at state finals, and Hunter Gibson was the 2nd high individual. Their advisor, Mr. Fishman said, ¨The Welding CDE requires students to complete various types of welds and create a job portfolio. It is a great way to prepare students for a career in the welding field.¨ The Veterinary Science Team consisted of Jade Velasquez, Marisa Ortiz, Anika Niles, and Samantha Col. The team placed 5th overall, and Marisa Ortiz was 3rd high individual. Their advisor Ms. Vindel said, ¨The Vet Science CDE is extremely competitive, with teams from all over the state who compete in this competition. Overall, our team had a great season and worked very hard! I am excited to see how this team grows and improves next year!¨. The Small engines team did not disappoint with placing 4th in the state thanks to students, Branyon Bliss, Misael Barrera, and Jayden Cardenas. Branyon Bliss placed 2nd high individual. Ag teacher and coach, Mr. Arthur Faria said ¨Branyon was 2nd in the state of California in Small Engines. This contest deals with identification, theory exam, problem-solving, technical skills, and troubleshooting. Branyon is only a freshman, and we look forward to seeing his growth in this CDE.¨ Ashlynn Blair, Will Bain, and Jordan Garcia were members of the Marketing Plan team and the team was coached by Mrs. Kaylyn Davenport. This contest requires students to create and present a marketing plan for a local agriculture business. Their hard work led them to a 2nd place finish in the state. In the Best Informed Greenhand Competition, coached by Ms. Erica Martinez, students are assessed on their FFA knowledge. Makayla Hemphill, Elena Wiren, and Kassandra Elorza placed 9th overall and Elena Wiren was 4th high individual.  


The Agriculture Communications and Floriculture teams received the title of state champions, and will be competing at the national competition in October. In the Agriculture Communications CDE students create a media plan and pitch. They are also assessed on their professional writing skills and complete practicums related to a career in the communications field. The team, coached by Mrs. Denise Skidmore, consists of Autumn Miller (5th high individual), Copeland Camp, Nikolas Williams (2nd high individual), and Conrad Schneider (1st high individual). Floriculture Team members include, Annika Cook (4th high individual), Angela Diaz, Samantha Wade, and Julianna Contreras. This contest required the judging of floral designs, cut flowers, and potted plants. Team members also had to identify 75 cut flowers, potted plants, and floral tools, and create three floral designs. Lastly, the ECHS FFA Grape Vine Pruning team were also named as State Champions. Coached by Mr. Arthur Faria, team members include Jordan Garcia, Nikolas Williams, Oswaldo Vasquez, and Giana Velheis. This contest required students to show their ability to prune grape vines to lead to the best grape production. According to FFA Advisor, Mrs. Davenport, “Career Developments are a great way for students to gain skills to help them in their future careers. These students worked hard to be the best of the best! It is incredible that all El Capitan FFA teams placed in the top 10. We are very proud!”


The agriculture advisors at ECHS are extremely grateful of these students for dedicating themselves to the El Capitan FFA Chapter and FFA Organization. They are excited to see all that these students accomplish with the skills they have developed and learned. FFA members would also like to say thank you to their advisors who see the potential in all of their students and stand right by their side in helping to accomplish goals and finding the opportunities to do so. For more information about the El Capitan FFA Chapter, please visit, and follow on social media. 

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