Calexico FFA preps for fair fun
Calexico FFA vice president Erik Montano leads his steer to a holding pen during the 14th annual showcase at Calexico High School on Friday. (CHELCEY ADAMI PHOTO)
Members practiced presenting everything from guinea pigs to steers to chickens while their fellow students petted animals and asked questions in return.
Calexico FFA has more than 300 members, and all week had events in honor of National FFA Week. There was a tug-of-war Tuesday, hay bucking Wednesday, a “kiss a pig” event Thursday and the week culminated with the showcase Friday.
“They get to feel what the fair will be like before they show,” Calexico FFA Adviser Markie Severtson said.
About 70 members have animals while others without animals focus on other areas such as agriculture mechanics or plant production, often spending around 20 hours a week on FFA, which is an intracurricular part of the school.
The Calexico FFA has seen a lot of success this year with member Emily Herzog slated to be president of the regional office. Elections will be held in March for the position, and if Herzog isn’t voted in she’ll be secretary, Severtson said.
The Calexico FFA’s speech team has also won every speech contest in the Imperial Valley this year.
“Calexico took all the top positions in the region so we proved that we can still speak Spanish and beat them in English,” Calexico FFA Vice President Erik Montano said.
Other categories such as the vegetable team has also been placing first, he added.
They attend six different leadership conferences a year and have traveled all over the nation, Severtson said.
Calexico FFA member Monica Butron joined this year.
“I love it,” she said. “I’ve been wanting a pig since last year. It’s really fun.”
David Esparza said he joined this year as well since he loves working with animals.
Montano spends about three hours a day caring for his steer.
“I don’t mind the hard work, because it’s what I love to do,” he said.
The Calexico FFA needs the community’s support more than ever, he added, saying that the group is always raising money for traveling to events every other week.
The group also reaches out to the community with events such as the annual Farmworker’s Breakfast, which it helped staff.
“If we help the community, they should support us back,” Montano said.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com