More than 50 students from Galt and Liberty Ranch high schools recently attended the California State FFA Convention and returned with awards. Here are the top winners as provided by the state organization:
Galt High Farm Power and Machinery team of Joe Vitoria, C.J. Pehl and Brandon McNealy earned second at their state finals contest.
Brandon McNealy, of Galt High, was named the fourth highest individual in California for his expertise in equipment maintenance, operation, tool use and troubleshooting.
Liberty Ranch's Advanced team earned third and the Novice team earned fifth in the Parliamentary Procedure contest. Novice team winners were Kelsey O'Donoghue, Brooke Hinders, Sarah Doberneck, Mary Garrett, Ronii Belton, Chase Steele and Morgan Parker. The Advanced team consisted of Jessica Pearson, Stephanee Davidson, Madison Owning, Olivia Montalvo, Allison Finkes, Samia Salim and Ryan Van Houten. Owning was also named the Top Chair 3, meaning she was the best in her position for the contest.
Katie West and Brandon Denier, both of Liberty Ranch, placed first in the Team Animal Science division, and the school's Kristian Farmer was named first in the Individual Botany category. Both projects will qualify for the national contest this fall.
Overall, Liberty Ranch placed fourth in the Agriscience Fair.
Gabrielle Franke, of Galt High, placed third for Extemporaneous Public Speaking.
Lia Van Egmond, also of Galt High, served on the State FFA Nominating Committee, an elite 13-member panel whose members interview candidates for State FFA Office.
Van Egmond was also selected by her peers to deliver the committee report on stage in front of 4,600 FFA members. She earned a $750 scholarship from the Hartford Animal Insurance Company, which was presented at the convention.
Brandon McNealy was named third in the state for Agriculture Mechanics Repair and Maintenance.
— Jennifer Bonnett