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The Gilroy FFA Best Informed Greenhand team placed first overall in the Colusa Redhawk Classic. Pictured: Wyatt Van Laar (from left), Nicholas Hendrickson, Tiago Sousa, McKenna Cooper, Kylie Jimenez, Kallista Rutman, Liz Rios, and Mylie Foster (not pictured: Isabella Alvarez-Rubio). Photo courtesy of Gilroy FFA
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Members in our Gilroy FFA Chapter have been challenged to develop critical thinking skills and effective decision-making skills, foster teamwork and promote communication while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement through Career Development Events (CDEs). Since the middle of September our Best Informed Greenhand (BIG) team, Cooperative Marketing Team and Veterinary Science CDE teams have been practicing tirelessly in preparation to compete against other teams around the state of California.

The objective of the Best Informed Greenhand contest is to understand the aims, purposes, history, and structure of the Local, State and National FFA student organizations and know the opportunities it makes available as referenced in the current National FFA Manual and State Constitution. This contest is for freshmen members only. Members of our fall team include: Isabella Alvarez-Rubio, McKenna Cooper, Tiago Sousa, Wyatt Van Laar, Mylie Foster, Kylie Jimenez, Kallista Rutman, Nicholas Hendrickson and Elizabeth Rios. 

The BIG team has competed in four competitions through the Colusa Redhawk Classic and have found much success. For the first competition the BIG team placed 2nd High Team with McKenna Cooper being named 4th High Individual. The second competition the team placed first with McKenna Cooper being named 3rd High Individual and Isabella Alvarez-Rubio being named 5th High Individual. For the third competition the team placed first once again and Kylie Jimenez was named 2nd High Individual and McKenna Cooper was named 3rd High Individual. For the final competition in the series the team placed first and McKenna Cooper was named 1st High Individual, Mylie Foster 2nd High Individual, Kylie Jimenez 4th High Individual, and Tiago Sousa 5th High Individual. 

Overall the team placed first in the entire contest series, McKenna Cooper was named 1st High Individual Overall, Isabella Alvarez-Rubio was named 2nd High Individual Overall, Tiago Sousa was named 3rd High Individual Overall, and Mylie Foster was named 5th Individual Overall. 

The team competed against 23 other schools and 60 other students. 

The Veterinary Science CDE event seeks to effectively prepare the students for the expectations of the animal health care and services (Veterinary Hospitals/Clinics, Grooming Facilities, Pet Stores, Kennels/Boarding Facilities and Feed Stores) workplace. Workers seeking careers in the animal health care field must develop a high degree of knowledge, skill and ability to solve difficult problems. This event blends the testing of skills and knowledge required for careers in the animal science career pathway. Members of the team include: Ari Rutman, Ryan Young, Taylor Yonkers, Catarina Correia and Aleeya Jones. 

The Vet Science team has competed in four separate competitions through the Colusa Redhawk Classic that had 12 teams competing with over 93 students. The results are as follows:

• First Competition: 8th High Team

• Second Competition: 7th High Team

• Third Competition: 6th High Team

• Fourth Competition: 4th High Team

• Overall: 4th High Team

The Cooperative Marketing event seeks to effectively prepare the students with the practices and operations of Agricultural Cooperatives. Workers seeking careers in cooperative marketing must not only develop a high degree of knowledge and skill, they must also develop the ability to solve difficult problems. This event blends the testing of manipulative skills and knowledge required for careers in operations and marketing. Members of the team include: Caitlyn Correia, Sawyer Tankersley, Santiago Trujillo, Olivia Epps and Daniel Garamendi. 

The Cooperative Marketing team has competed in four separate competitions through the Colusa Redhawk Classic that had more than 61 students who competed. The first competition the team placed 3rd High Team, and Sawyer Tankersley was named 6th High Individual. The second competition the team placed 5th Overall. The third competition they placed 3rd Overall. For the fourth and final competition the team placed 5th High Team. For the overall contest series the team placed 4th Overall and Sawyer Tankersley was named 4th High Individual overall. 

Our teams exceeded our expectations this fall and we are excited for them to compete at the following competitions this spring: Chico State Field Day (Feb. 11), UC Davis Field Day (March 4), Merced (March 11), Modesto Field Day (March 25), Reedley Field Day (April 1), Fresno Field Day (April 22) and the State FFA Finals at Cal Poly (May 6).

Ximena Trujillo is the 2022-2023 Gilroy FFA Chapter Reporter.

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