Tulare County FAIR

By: Valeriy Khimyuk

The Tulare County Fair was in full swing this past September bringing families from all over the county. A variety of people visit the fair each year with the intentions to enjoy the many attractions it has to offer. However, If these same individuals had visited the fair in the early 1900’s the experience would have been quite different.

Tulare’s first fair was actually a citrus fair which was held in the historic pavilion located in what now is Zumwalt Park. The Tulare County Fair was founded in 1915 and was held in the historic pavilion located in what now is Zumwalt Park. The first Livestock Fair was held in 1919. Today, Tulare County and Fairgrounds offer so much more for the community and its residents. Since its inception, Agriculture, Livestock Shows, Community Weddings, Festivals, and Quinceaneras have been a tradition and fiber of the County. The Tulare County Fair provides an educational and entertainment experience for all those who attend to create a lifetime of memories.

This years prize winners include:

Supreme Champion Meat Pen of Chickens – Crystal Sandoval

Reserve Supreme Champion Meat Pen of Chickens – Edith Guijon

Supreme Champion Beef Replacement Heifer – Sayge Davis

Reserve Supreme Champion Beef Replacement Heifer – Kyle Davis

3rd Place Advanced Rabbit Showmanship – Pia Martinez

4th Place Novice Rabbit Showmanship – Kiara Benavides

5th Place Novice Rabbit Showmanship – Kenya Pinon

4th Place Poultry Showmanship – Crystal Sandoval

5th Place Poultry Showmanship – Edith Guijon

10th Place Novice Lamb Showmanship – Reyes Aguilar

To get more information, I invite you to read the interview from Mr Ferreira and Mrs Moss.

Mr Ferreira,

What animals did students present?

Beef Cattle

Market Sheep

Market Swine

Market Goats

Market Meat Pen of Rabbits

Market Meat Pen of Chickens

Did you have your own experience on showing animals? Tell us about this.

Mr. Ferreira started showing at the Tulare County Fair in the Fall 1997. He exhibited a Market Lamb for the first time in 4th grade as a Tulare 4H member. His excitement for showing livestock continued to grow as he and his family built a rabbit barn at his house and started to raise show breeding and market rabbits for the Tulare County Fair. When he entered into High School, he started to expand his Supervised Agricultural Experiences’s and exhibited Market Sheep, Market Swine, and Market Rabbits at the Tulare County Fair through the Tulare Union FFA program. He showed these livestock animals at the Tulare County Fair all the way until his 2nd year at Fresno State in 2007 where he hung his hat with his final market animals and focused his college career of becoming a High School Agriculture Teacher. His experiences raising and exhibiting livestock for the Tulare County Fair has helped him advise and coach numerous students in the show ring during fair time. Showing livestock is a passion that has helped him understand the value of hard work, the importance of learning about where your food comes from, and the ability to care for and manage multiple responsibilities in life.

Why do you think, why taking part in FAIR is important?

Students that are involved with exhibiting livestock with Woodlake FFA at the Tulare County Fair gain many valuable lessons in life that will carry over to being productive and successful in college and in their jobs. All students enrolled in Agriculture Courses at Woodlake High School are given the opportunity to show livestock at the Tulare County Fair if they meet the requirements set forth by the chapter. One of the most valuable aspects of showing livestock is understanding the high level of responsibility and commitment that goes into taking care of a living creature that will eventually become food for our nation. Additionally, students that exhibit livestock begin to understand the value of money and how it directly impacts the vitality of the agriculture industry. These projects cost money. Students understand the fundamentals of budgeting, spending, and earning money from their hard work. At the completion of the project, students earn a profit from the sale of their livestock animals. Students have been known to earn anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars from the sale of their livestock projects during the fair auction. This money can be used to fund future endeavors in agriculture education and the FFA or personal endeavors that they are passionate about. Alongside earning money to kick start a successful financial future, students learn how to communicate with community and businesses to help fund their projects and obtain lessons in how to properly care for and manage a healthy livestock project. We all eat food. The food has to come from somewhere. These students learn where their food comes from and the process that it takes to get it. They appreciate the most important and vital industry known to mankind. Without Agriculture we would have no food. Students who exhibit livestock at the county fair learn to appreciate the most important aspect of their life, where their food comes from. Any agriculture program student who is interested in exhibiting livestock at the Tulare County Fair in 2017 needs to attend the mandatory fair interest meeting held in the Spring of 2017. At this meeting students will gain the necessary information to begin raising their livestock animals for next years fair. Market Lambs, Market Swine, Market Goats, Market Poultry, and Market Rabbits are available to be shown by Woodlake FFA members. Please feel free to contact Mr. Ferreira if you have any questions about showing livestock and making money at the 2017 Tulare County Fair.

Ms Moss,

How was FAIR this year?

Fair was pretty successful this year. Many of our students placed well, and I can get you a list of placings, if you would like.

Did you and participants of Woodlake FFA had fun?

Exhibitors really enjoy their exhausting times at fair, because they are able to see all of their hard work pay off in the end.

How many kids sold their animals?

All of our exhibitors sold their animals, with many making a decent profit. We had 3 sheep sell, 4 hogs sell, 2 chicken meat pens sell, and 3 head of cattle sell.

Why do you think taking part in FAIR is important?

I think exhibitors taking part of fair is an integral part of their SAE projects and part of growing up as a young person.

Until we meet again Tulare County Fair; so long, and see you soon. If you are interested in showing an animal at the next fair, contact Mr. Ferreira or Ms Moss for further information.

A FANGtastic Halloween!

It’s October and we all know what that means…. Halloween! Halloween is the one day of the year where kids all over the country get dressed up as their favorite horror film, superhero, or Disney princess to walk around town with their friends and get free candy. People wait all year round for this spook-tacular holiday. Although trick-or-treating is an amazing way to spend Halloween night, there are many other events to attend all over Tulare County; here are some to add to your bucket list.


Hobb’s Grove: Located in Sanger, CA, Hobb’s Grove is a great place to spend a frightening night with friends and family. There are three main attractions; The Haunted Forest, The Haunted House, and The Haunted Hayride. All three are sure to leave you with a scare.


Vossler Farms: Located in Visalia, CA, Vossler Farms provides a pumpkin patch filled with pumpkins of all different sizes, definite to meet your likings. It also includes a small petting zoo where people of all ages can pet small farm animals. A hayride also gives rides through the corn maze. The corn maze is extremely scary and tricky, but would you expect any less?


Exeter Trunk or Treat: Held in Exeter California at Faith Tabernacle Church, this is a Halloween event for children. It is safe and very fun as the kids all say! Candy is handed out and kids are able to hang out with friends and have a Halloween where their parents know they are safe. This is a great alternative for any parent second guessing their child going trick or tre


Hard Work and Commitment

By: Jordan Price

Garrett Fisher grew up in the small town of Three Rivers and worked hard in middle school. Once he graduated middle school in Three Rivers, he came to high school in Woodlake. At the end of high school, he received an academic scholarship to Notre Dame. Garrett is now involved with the football team and assisting the coaches at Notre Dame. Below are some questions relating to his hard work throughout school, Notre Dame, and their football team.

What did it take to get into Notre Dame with an academic scholarship?

Getting into Notre Dame took outstanding grades and a lot of involvement  school clubs and extracurricular activities, like sports and showing animals at the fair.  Getting into college is more and more competitive every year, and schools are looking for students that stand out. In order to do that, I tried to do build my resume that would set me apart from my classmates, while still maintaining good grades. Doing a lot of different activities was not the important part, what was important; however, was being a standout in one or two things.

What is Notre Dame like?

Notre Dame is way different than high school. There are more activities and things to do to fill your time, and I’d have to say there’s less homework, so that’s nice. It’s important to be careful, though, because when I do have work for my classes, it’s a lot of work, and it’s pretty hard. Some classes take attendance, but I’d say about half of mine don’t, so if I have something else I need to do during that time (like work or sleep), I can.  Skipping class doesn’t happen often though; balancing work, sleep, and social time is a challenge for sure, but it’s really not that difficult in the grand scheme of things. The people here are generally nice, and while they’re all a lot different from people at WHS and Three Rivers, there are good people everywhere, and making friends isn’t hard, once the culture shock passes.

How is it being involved with the Notre Dame football team?

Working for the football team has been a dream I never knew would come true. I go to every practice and game, I fix and fit equipment for players, and I run the practices alongside the coaches. I’m in charge of the defensive line and the special teams (kickoff, kickoff return, punt, punt return, field goal, FG block, and PAT teams). I talk to coaches about the drills we’ll be running that day, and then I set them up and help make sure they are run properly. I also chart the defensive plays during games and I’m one of the guys in charge of the locker room at away games. Being on the sidelines at every game and in the action at every practice is a rush every day that is both exhausting and exhilarating, and it’s made me want to pursue a career in sports equipment management, or sports operations. The friends I’ve made through the football team are friends I’ll have for life, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

What are some activities you would recommend high school students to become involved in?

Activities for high school students to participate in would probably be just whatever strikes their interest the most. Do whatever that is, and do it all the way. Throw yourself into it as much as you can. Like sports? Pick one or two and live, breathe, eat, sleep, and bleed that sport (or two). You’ll feel good, look good, and have something to talk about with people from all over! Are animals your thing? Show an animal with the FFA, and try to be an officer or at least a chairman/chairwoman! It teaches responsibility, time management, and compassion for an animal completely and totally reliant on you for support and love. Plus you’ll know more about the process that feeds the population around the world. Are you more of a bookworm? Join a reading club and try to take a leadership position, write reviews of books and post them online, write short stories or articles and put them out there for people to see! Make art and share it! People who will be offering jobs and looking for students are looking for people with a passion and something unique about them. There’s nothing unique about being president of the couch potato club, so you should do something interesting to you, because doing that thing more and more will make you more interesting too. Life’s too short to spend it doing anything not inspired by passion.  What if you don’t have time to do any of this extra curricular activities because you have to take care of your family? That’s okay! Work hard at that, do everything you can, and always keep in mind that you’re working for the people you love. If you’re going to go to college, tell your story when admissions application time comes around! If you’re really passionate about what you’re doing and working hard at it, no matter what it is, the admissions staff will be able to tell, and that’s what they’re really looking for: passion and potential combined with a strong work ethic. If college isn’t your path, get a head start on developing your work ethic, and strive every day to get better at whatever you’re doing.

Garrett Fisher showed a great example hard work and commitment. He worked hard to get a scholarship and harder once he was their. He followed his dream to help out with the football team and now he’s one of the assistant coaches.fullsizerender-2pasted-image-0

The Two Who Started it All

By: Shania Finney

Career day is a day that has been around for 30 years at Woodlake High School. The school’s annual event is a day to open student’s minds to the many career choices that are available for them to pursue. Thirty years ago two very important ladies, Billie Jane (Shaver) Merlo and Cuca (Carretero) Atherton, helped to create the very first career day.

Billie Jane (Shaver) Merlo:                   1185344_10151812912698279_1554721656_n-photo

Billie attended Woodlake High School in the 1980’s and was part of the graduating class of 1987. She participated in basketball, track, young life, mock trial, pep club, 4-H, drama, and FFA-HERO. After high school, Billie continued her education at Fresno State University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in Plant Production. Her and her husband are involved in a family owned farming business.She now has two sons who are both pursuing their education and deciding on their dream goals. One is a senior in highschool, and another is attending Simpson University.

Cuca (Carretero) Atherton:       img_0085-current

Cuca attended Woodlake High School in the 1980’s and was alongside Billie in being part of the graduating class of 1987. After High School, Cuca attended CSU Fresno and earned a Bachelor of Art in Psychology. While at Fresno, she started to see herself working with high school students and later attended graduate school to earn a MA in Education and a Pupil Personnel Service Credential. She began her career in 1994 at Corcoran High School as a Migrant counselor, and later moved to Golden West High School as a counselor. She is now currently an Assistant Principal at El Diamante High School. Cuca is married to a man who is also a Woodlake graduate and has two children. Her daughter is attending CSU Fullerton on a President’s Honors Scholarship, and her son is an 8th grader who is very involved in Leadership at Woodlake Valley Middle School.

Both Cuca and Billie are this year’s co-keynote speakers for the 30th anniversary of Career Day.  Both attended Woodlake High at the same time and worked together to create what is known as Career Day. They both feel extremely honored to be a part of Career Day many years later. They both live by the motto: “Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger.”


They Kick It Where It Counts!


By: Charlotte Lira
This year, there are a total of 30 students currently assisting in youth service learning hours for the Woodlake soccer program. Certain selected students are assisting full time in the positions of coach, assistant coach and referee. Others are assisting part time with the setup and cleanup of the soccer fields during practice and games. All roles that were available include coach, assistant coaching, set upimg_8320, clean up and registrations. Unfortunately, the youth soccer program is filled to capacity for volunteers this season. However, if anyone is interested in completing hours next season, look and listen for the announcement during the morning bulletin.
Mr. Gonzalez also made a statement about the benefits of the program, “ I currently have 6 former high school volunteers that are adults now and are certified refs and getting paid. The benefit that it gives coaches, is that allows them to be on the other side of the spectrum and try to get 15 kids to be on the same page. They quickly realized how much an educator goes through to convey a simple message to their students. Transferring that to a soccer field becomes a challenge, and they get a newfound respect for teachers and coaches.”

Is the Popcorn Ready?

By: Juan Sandoval

Fall is here and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. With Halloween around the corner, some of the best scary movies are being released this month. Get your extra large bucket of popcorn, and your scary movie buddy ready, because these are the newest scary movies that will make you regret turning off the lights.


Ouija Origin Of Evil is about a woman who is a widow. Being a mother of two, she decides to scam people in LA by telling them that she has the ability to talk to spirits in order to make ends meet. Little does the woman know, that the Ouija board would invite nefarious spirits in her and her 2 daughters’ lives. Catch this film on October 21, 2016 in a theater near you.


Madea (Tyler Perry’s) new movie Boo a Madea Halloween is a new horror comedy coming this month. Madea spends Halloween taking care of her teen niece and her niece’s friends, when they begin experiencing horrifying experiences with ghosts and other paranormal creatures. This movie will make you laugh, so get ready! It will be in a theater near you on October 21, 2016.


Stranger Things is not a movie, it is a series that was released in July. Not to mention this amazing, addicting, series would be a sin. Stranger Things is about a scary creature called a Demogoron that is swallowing people to the underside. Throughout the show, the cast looks for Will, a young boy who is taken. Throughout the search the cast is faced with dangerous situations. Make sure you have time because I guarantee you will not have time to take your eyes off the screen.


An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

By Jasmine Armenta

Woodlake is one of the many schools that provides free breakfast and lunch for all students. Woodlake High School also provides students with a variety of healthy foods and several enjoyable meals. I had the chance to interview Mrs. Jacobo, who has worked for the Nutrition Services for the school district since 1998. While interviewing Mrs. Jacobo, she informed me with many interesting details about her job and her responsibilities, which include overseeing the meal program for the preschool thru 12th grade. One of the main functions of her job is menu planning, which is very difficult because she wants to please every student. Besides that, the menus must meet or exceed the requirements of Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act which limits calories, fat ,and sodium. One of her mottos is “you can’t teach a hungry child”, which is a serious belief she stands by, because if a child is hungry, they will only think about their hunger and are unable to concentrate on their surroundings. Mrs. Jacobo is also very proud of the staff, and all that they have accomplished to ensure each student is well nutritioned and ready to learn for the day. Here, at Woodlake High School, we are grateful for our amazing and caring lunch staff. Without them we would starve…literally.

Woodlake FFA: Sprouting into Action

By: Anthony Guzman

Woodlake FFA Members have taken action this year. To kick off the year, FFA freshman experienced the life of a FFA member at the Greenhand Leadership Conference in Tulare, CA. They were introduced to a few new concepts, like leadership skills, as well as understanding what a SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) project is. Freshman wasn’t the only group gaining new experiences, the Chapter Officers attended the Chapter Officer Leadership Conference, hosted at Mission Oak High School in Tulare. Officers were able to experience workshops taught by the regional officers, showing them how to be better leaders, and what it means to work as a team. They learned several ways how to  improve the school’s chapter, as well as finding their own strengths. Finally, members traveled to Exeter High School to compete in the Opening and Closing competition. If you are not aware of what Opening and Closing is, it is a competition where members have to memorize lines and work together to properly open and close an FFA meeting. After the event, the freshman teams placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and the officer team took home 1st place. Until next time, stay tuned for more FFA events and activities.

Eleanor & Park Review

By: Isiah Maldonado

Rainbow Rowell, the author of Eleanor & Park writes about the life of a teenage girl going to a new school. Eleanor, an outsider, has trouble making friends and has an even harder time trying to deal with her first love. Eleanor’s life is anything but simple, dealing with a awful daily bus ride to school, and an abusive step dad.

9781250064875_p0_v4_s260x420-1-In this book Eleanor talks very realistically about the struggle of her first love. This book is very funny, yet romantic at the same time. With every page, the reader get more attached to the book.This book is a great read for teenagers and young adults because it’s so relatable. Get lost in the pages with this amazing novel about Eleanor & Parks teenage experience.