SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The Santa Maria High School FFA recently attended the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana and received numerous accolades. Among the honors, the Santa Maria FFA received the National Chapter Award. In addition, Alejandro Gonzales, Jeff Klein, Jayme Llamas and Rosario Reyes received the American FFA Degree, which is awarded to less than one percent off all agriculture students in the nation. Also, Santa Maria advisor Marc Debernardi was bestowed with the Honorary American FFA Degree for his ten years of instruction. Just five instructors in the country received the prestigious award. For more information, please see story below.
Story provided by Giselle Sanchez-Zuno/Santa Maria FFA
The Santa Maria FFA once again went National. Santa Maria High Schools' FFA alumni, students, and advisors attended the 85th National FFA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year there were six program completers from the Santa Maria FFA chapter who received their American FFA Degree, the highest degree in the organization given to less than 1% of all Agriculture students in the United States. Four alumni attended the convention to receive their American Degree. Alejandro Gonzales, Jeff Klein, Jayme Llamas and Rosario Reyes enjoyed their trip to New York City and then the convention in Indianapolis where they received their awards in the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Also during the convention, the Santa Maria FFA chapter was honored with the National Chapter Award. Current Santa Maria FFA Chapter officers, Jose Baroza, Valerie Canas, Yessica, Hernandez and Susan Reyes were present to receive the award and be part of the convention. To add to the celebration, SMHS FFA Advisor Marc Debernardi was presented with an Honorary American FFA Degree for his ten years of dedication teaching Agriculture and positively influencing his students. Marc Debernardi was one of five agriculture teachers to receive the award nationally. Senior FFA officer Jose Baroza commented, "The conference was amazing! I enjoyed meeting many different people and seeing how different their agriculture community is from ours."
Before the convention, our chapter members were rewarded with a trip to the city that never sleeps, New York City. We enjoyed many tourist attractions in the Big Apple including Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Plaza, a Spider Man Broadway Show and the Brooklyn Bridge. Our members enjoyed their stay in New York City and were amazed at the different lifestyle. Everyone was honored to receive this opportunity of a lifetime. For some members this was their first airplane flight and first trip out of California! Whether listened to motivational speakers during the National Convention, watching alumni receive their American FFA Degree, or visiting New York City our Santa Maria FFA members were very inspired and motivated to come back home and lead their chapter.
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