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Santa Maria High School FFA Selected as Chapter of the Year for Santa Barbara Section

The Santa Maria High School FFA has been selected as the 2014 Chapter of the Year for the Santa Barbara Section.

The members received the honors last weekend at the annual COLC (Chapter Officer Leadership Retreat) in Hollister.

The chapter looks to continue its success at the national level the last week of October, as nine students and teachers travel to Louisville, Ky., to receive their American FFA Degree in addition to competing in the Hall of States Competition.

FFA Teacher Mark Powell believes winning this award for the second time in three years exemplifies the fact that students are excelling and achieving success on many different levels.

“More impressively, it is accomplished on a consistent basis which really has been the tradition of the Santa Maria FFA," Powell said.

FFA President Luis Salazar knows that they can accomplish most anything with focus and dedication.

“It is an honor and privilege to be the chapter of the year because it represents all that hard work that our advisors and chapter members have put in this last year," Salazar said. “This award shows what we are capable of and able to do if we put our minds to work and strive to better ourselves and the FFA organization."

The Santa Maria FFA has about 1,000 students enrolled in the program on a daily basis, according to Shannon Powell, of the school’s agricultural department.

The Santa Maria FFA was selected out of all FFA Chapters in the Santa Barbara Section. This award is based on student involvement and achievement. It involves leadership above the Chapter level, State FFA Degrees, American FFA Degrees, State Proficiency winners and judging teams.

During the last year, the Santa Maria FFA had two Santa Barbara Sectional FFA Officers, one Regional FFA Officer, 23 State FFA Degrees, eight American Degrees, one State Vegetable Production Proficiency and a State Champion Land Judging Team. They also have had six judging teams (Career Development Events) place in the top five in California.

The Santa Maria FFA contributes the success to the outstanding student involvement and the support from the community, the Powells said.

— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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