FFA Competition at YC Agribusiness Center Puts High Schoolers Through Career Tests

11 February 2017   Dr. Karla Phillips
More than 150 Arizona high schoolers put their training in a variety of career fields to the test during a Future Farmers of America Black Canyon District competition Thursday at the Yavapai College Agribusiness and Technology Center in Chino Valley.

The FFA Career Development Event (CDE) is a bi-annual competition pitting FFA members from Yavapai County, Peoria and Kingman against each other in challenging career contests in areas like entomology, forestry, horsemanship, aquaculture, veterinary science and landscaping, among others. Individual and team winners earned a coveted trip to the state FFA competition in March at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

“FFA is agribusiness and we are the only community college in the state that hosts these types of events,” said Karen Smith, YC instructional support specialist and 19-time CDE organizer. Smith, who has been honored by the state FFA for her contributions to the organization and its mission, added that the event provides high schoolers considering agriculture careers a chance to meet industry experts and see what Yavapai College offers for continuing education and training. “If they decide to stay in the agriculture industry, potentially they will look to us for their college needs.”

Amanda Ward, a Chino Valley High School junior and fourth-place finisher in the job-interview competition, said she is taking advantage of the FFA as a springboard to a career as an agriculture teacher. Even though she currently has three jobs, Ward said participating in the job-interview competition will benefit her down the road. “That way I can get a good job in my career field,” she said.

Following are the individual and team winners in the spring FFA competition:

Job Interview:

1st p Jordyn Downs, Peoria High School

2nd Ty Handverger, Mingus Union High School

3rd Hailey Porter, Mayer High School

4th Amanda Ward, Chino Valley High School

Soils Evaluation:

1st Shane Davidson, MUHS

2nd Brianna Epperson, MUHS

3rd Austin McCauley, AAEC

4th Jalen Ebert, MUHS

1st: Team, MUHS

2nd Team, Peoria

Horse Evaluation:

1st Danielle Stephensen, AAEC

2nd Brooklynne Robach, MUHS

3rd Kendyll Tucker, Chino Valley High School

4th Weslee Green, AAEC

1st Team: AAEC

2nd Team: MUHS

Ag Mechanics:

1st Charlie Bloomfield, Chino Valley High School

2nd Nick Tyler, Chino Valley High School

3rd Jason Hamm, Chino Valley High School

4th Garrett Smith, Chino Valley High School

1st Team: Chino Valley Team 1

2nd Team: Chino Valley Team 2

Vet Science:

1st Emily Pierce, MUHS

2nd Shayla De Souza, Chino Valley High School

3rd Katherine Sealy, MUHS

4th Autym Malone, Peoria

1st Team: MUHS

2nd Team: AAEC


1st Katelyn Schield, MUHS

2nd Aryanna Rio-Silva, Peoria

3rd Jonathan Dees, Peoria

4th Crue Taylor, MUHS

1st Team: MUHS

2nd Team: Peoria


1st Jessica Pebley, Kingman High School

2nd Kierstin Hays, Kingman High School

3rd Anna Johnson, Camp Verde High School

4th Maddie McCrary, Camp Verde High School

1st Team: Kingman High School

2nd Team: Camp Verde

Meats Evaluation:

1st Loni Faith Ferguso, Camp Verde High School

2nd Elizabeth Johnson, Camp Verde High School

3rd Sean Dennis, Chino Valley High School

4th Blake McCrary, Camp Verde High School


1st Shinobi Horikawa, AAEC

2nd Sara Bramblett, AAEC

3rd Caleb Wylie, MUHS

4th Keagan Jones, MUHS

1st Team: AAEC

2nd Team: MUHS


1st Alyssa Connolly, AAEC

2nd Jimee Vojnic, MUHS

3rd Connor Merritt, AAEC

4th Erika Judge, AAEC

1st Team: AAEC

2nd Team: MUHS

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