Students representing the Santa Maria High School FFA received nearly $175,000 for their efforts at this year's Santa Barbara County Fair.
More than 120 students showed livestock accomplishments while another 20 to 30 focused on agricultural mechanics, welding, vegetables and floral projects.
The group also won first-place honors for their landscape booth and second place for the feature booth. The feature booth is designed to allow the group to describe what the FFA means to them and the community.
Exhibitors won the championship awards with turkeys and rabbits. They also claimed showmanship recognition for sheep, turkeys, swine and in the round robin competition.
SMHS FFA adviser Marc DeBernardi believes community involvement was key.
"The community stepped up in a big way again with a record $2.8 million Junior Livestock Sale of close to 1,000 animals of FFA and 4-H kids,'' DeBernardi said. "We had an outstanding year again with a high level of student achievement and involvement.''
The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District has more than 1,500 FFA members.
— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.