FFA Opening and Closing Speaking Competition

By: Kiara Benavides

On October 12, Woodlake FFA took 8 teams to compete in the Sequoia Section Opening and Closing competition hosted at Tulare Union High School. The contest consisted of testing members’ abilities to properly open and close a FFA meeting. All the Woodlake FFA members have put forth much time and practice into the speaking competition in hopes of taking home winning titles. They surely did not fail. With over 200 FFA members from over 10 schools, Woodlake FFA took home the champions plaque for two out of three divisions and multiple members took home outstanding award titles! Woodlake FFA took three freshman novice teams to compete with one team rising to the top as champion novice division team and outstanding award recognitions going to Andrew Leon for outstanding president, Izaiah Benavides for outstanding vice president, Parker Davis for outstanding treasurer, Alejandra Sandoval for outstanding treasurer, Emily Mull for outstanding sentinel, and Alyssa Mendez for outstanding secretary. Woodlake’s four open teams also did phenomenal with another team taking home the champion title with outstanding award recognitions going to Jackie Rodriguez for vice president, Celeste Medina for secretary, and Kyle Davis for sentinel. The officer team represented Woodlake FFA just as well with outstanding awards going to Pia Martinez for president and Rogelio Chavez for secretary. Woodlake FFA’s hard work and dedication payed off that evening.

Hee-Haw Game Time

By Alyssa Baker

For those who are unfamiliar, Donkey Basketball is an annual FFA basketball game that takes place every year. The amazing AG teachers, run a presale of tickets before the day of the game, and the top sellers get to ride donkeys. On Thursday, February 23, 2017, Woodlake FFA vs Exeter FFA had their annual donkey basketball game, taking the win at 8 to 7. The game was intense and fun. The whole night was filled with laughter and cheers as Woodlake took home the win! The game was almost sold out of tickets, and everyone enjoyed the game. Congratulations to our riders on the amazing game!

During halftime of the game, our FFA Sweetheart was crowned by last years queen, Kiara Benavides! Congratulations to Reanna Munoz for winning the crown for FFA Sweetheart last Thursday night. Good Job to the other competitors; Callie Vincent, Pia Martinez, and Edith Guijon.

World Ag Expo!!


By: Jocelyn Sanchez

Last week February 16, our Woodlake Academy of Sustainable Agriculture Academy class traveled to the World Ag Expo Farm Show in Tulare. Our Academy students visited several interesting work cite booths and made connections with hundreds of business all around Fresno and Tulare Counties. There were over 49 country business representatives that attended this three day event. Countless people waited in line for the famous tri-tip sandwiches and homemade peach cobblers made by vendors all around the county. Andrew Skidmore, our state FFA President, gave our students a tour around the entire expo. The Academy students were given the opportunity to meet our California State FFA officers, and build connections will their fellow peers to prepare for State Conference this upcoming year.

Spring in FFA!

By: Alyssa Baker


Welcome back FFA family! Looking back on the month of December, our FFA students and parent volunteers raised over 500 cans to donate to the Food Pantry! Good job team with the amazing community service skills! In the beginning of January, our Citrus Judging team took 4th place in the High A division, and 3rd place in the High B division. Congratulations to Edith Guijon for taking 3rd High Overall in the A division. Citrus Judging is a contest about judging the quality of two types of oranges, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin oranges, and citrus trees. The students also learned how to identify diseases and the damaging effects to fruit, trees, and leaves. During Citrus Judging, students must defend their result with explanations and oral reasoning. Good Job Citrus team!

This month in January, FFA students are preparing for future competitions. Within the first week of school, several students met for the CDE Speaking team interest meeting. The purpose of the CDE Speaking team is to develop students’ speaking abilities and self-confidence. The students are also pretty busy filling out State Degree Applications that are due January 27th. Other than the overwhelmed feeling of preparing for competitions this month, on January 25th, FFA students have the chance to have some fun at the Visalia AMF Bowling Lanes from 3:30- 6:30.  Have fun!

Looking further into the future, the Sequoia Section Speaking contest takes place on February 9th at Mission Oak High School! Best of luck team! On an exciting note, get prepared for the FFA Annual Donkey Basketball game that will take place on February 23rd at 7pm in the WHS Old Gym. FFA students from Exeter High School will be joining us for the event. FFA students are pre-selling tickets: adults are $8.00, students are $6.00, and children are $4.00. Ticket prices will go up a dollar at the gate. Get ready for a fun filled night with tons of laughs. Also, the FFA floral class is also pre-selling a valentine arrangement for $25.00. Get in the spirit and buy a lovely arrangement for your significant other, friends, or family. Have a great semester students and faculty!

Turkey Shoot Recap!

By: Charlotte Lira & Christopher Coelho

Woodlake FFA hosted its annual Turkey Shoot on Saturday, December 3. Twenty-four turkeys and hams were given out this year as prizes for the winners of each round. At this year’s Turkey Shoot there were approximately 50 people that showed up to shoot and support Woodlake’s FFA. This year was the first that the Woodlake FFA Turkey Shoot had an all women’s round, along with having the regular men’s round, and an Annie Oakley round. Annie Oakley is when the men, and occasionally some women, line up in a line of 10 and shoot in order; however, let’s say the person in square one missed, and the person in square two hits the clay pigeon, then the guy in square one is out. It goes on until there are two men or women left, and then whoever hits the pigeon first wins the turkey or ham. Over all Woodlake FFA had a great turnout and we hope to see some of you come out next year!20161203_124710screenshot_2016-12-07-09-40-16-1

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.

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.

“The Cold Never Bothered A Team Anyway”

By: Kiara Benavides

IMG_1555On January 7, 2016 Woodlake FFA’s Chapter and Greenhand (Freshmen) officer teams kicked off the new semester and restarted their gears with a winter leadership retreat to Sequoia National Park. Retreat gave the two teams an opportunity to connect and bond with each other while participating in different activities such as a snowshoe hike adventure. Snowshoeing gave new experiences to all the officers and advisors which proved both fun and challenging. The challenges that were met with this activity helped the officers become closer amongst each other and helped them step out of their comfort zones to become better individual leaders. Whether it was speaking up about a possible sketchy situation or helping a teammate out when they fell behind and couldn’t get up. Each officer took lessons on leadership away from this retreat including fun filled memories that were surely made as well as lessons that they can hold onto and apply to their future endeavors. As stated by the chapter’s current sentinel, Pia Martinez, “I learned that we (as a team) are all in this together and as a group we can solve any challenge thrown at us. I had a blast creating new memories with both of the Woodlake FFA officer teams. They are the only people I would want to snowshoe with for three and a half hours then still laugh with excitement and energy on the way home!”. All in all, Woodlake FFA’s officers moved mountains in their leadership abilities and spent time making many memories. Woodlake FFA is gearing up for a fun and busy semester filled with leadership opportunities, career development events, fundraising, and continuing to prepare our members for successful futures.

Woodlake FFA Canned Food Scavenger Hunt

By: Kiara Benevides IMG_1311

On December 2, 2015 Woodlake FFA hosted their chapter’s annual Canned Food Scavenger Hunt Meeting. All FFA members were invited to spread holiday cheer that evening as they helped collect cans and boxed goods throughout the neighborhoods and community. Our chapter did succeed in collecting over 500 canned and boxed food items. All donations were later donated to the Woodlake Food Pantry. Members had a wonderful experience spreading spirit throughout the community as they received generous donations and kind words of support and encouragement. In the end, as quoted by a Woodlake FFA supporter, the Canned Food Scavenger Hunt taught our members the feeling of giving back during this Christmas season. Again, congratulations to Woodlake FFA!


Happy Birthday Woodlake FFA

By: Kiara Benevides

On Oct. 30, 2015, Woodlake FFA celebrated 75 years of being chartered as an FFA chapter within the National FFA Organization. In celebration, the Woodlake chapter hosted an Alumni Social at the Woodlake Veterans Memorial Building. All past and current Woodlake FFA members were invited to attend the event to help celebrate 75 years of Woodlake FFA traditions and connect it’s history with its present. Throughout the evening, the Chapter discussed its accomplishments over the years as well as introduce its new traditions to the program, such as the Academy of Sustainable Agriculture. Past members were encouraged to bring their old FFA jackets and photos from their past experiences and memories. This event gave current members an opportunity to reminisce with alumni and learn about the chapter’s history as well as share their memories. Woodlake FFA alumnus and City of Woodlake mayor, Mr. Rudy Mendoza, attended the event and spoke on behalf of the community, encouraging students to continue reaching success in the agriculture industry. The Alumni Boosters informed the community of upcoming events and fundraisers that will help the chapter continue traditions as well as grow new traditions as the chapter continues down the path to success. The newly launched ag academy was a topic of discussion as Mrs. Carmita Peña, Ag Academy Director, spoke on behalf of the academy and the tremendous culture it has already brought to Woodlake High School’s campus. The 2015-2016 Woodlake FFA Greenhand Team was elected, bringing back a tradition that had faded away.The newly elected Greenhand Officer team consisted of Marcela Arambula- President, Edith Guijon- Vice President, Clarissa Elias- Secretary, Anthony Guzman- Treasurer, Jose Mendez- Reporter, and Kimberly Martino- Sentinel. To end the night off, all members celebrated with Woodlake FFA birthday cake donated by the Boosters Club. Overall, the chapter had a blast celebrating Woodlake FFA’s 75th birthday!