94th State FFA Leadership Conference: Fourth Session Recap

SACRAMENTO, March 28, 2022 — Future Farmers of America (FFA) members and supporters from across the state of California returned to the Golden 1 Center for the fourth session of the 94th State FFA Leadership Conference in Sacramento, with the theme of “Adventure in Action.” 

State FFA Treasurer Lesley Madriz gave her retiring address, encouraging others to believe in themselves. 

“Don’t measure yourself against others,” Madriz said. “Choose to measure [yourselves] against [your] own potential … I ask you, with every ounce of strength I have, to believe in yourself too. How will you measure up?” 

The prestigious Golden Owl Award was awarded to Elizabeth Ammon, an agriculture educator from Susanville-Lassen. The Golden Owl Award is handed out to the agriculture educator of the year and is sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and the California Farm Bureau.

“So much of the success of our students comes from the dedication and commitment of our teachers,” said Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau. 

Keith Knopf, president and CEO of The Raley’s Company, a proud sponsor of the 94th State Leadership Conference, gave advice on how to be a successful leader. 

“Your greatest attribute as a leader is personal integrity,” Knopf said. “Without that, you will fall short of your aspirations. Leadership is a privilege.”

Proficiency awards were handed out in alphabetical order from Diversified Agriculture Production to Outdoor Recreation. The winners are listed at the end of this article. 

Shay Williams-Hopper, San Juaquin Region FFA State Advisor, gave remarks on the behalf of the California Agricultural Teachers' Association. 

“You are here today by choice and not chance,” Williams-Hopper said. 

Lastly, Erica Flores, FFA veteran and director of development and communications at Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, gave special remarks and informed students about where FFA can take them in their career beyond high school. 

“This organization will take you on an adventure around the world if you say yes to the adventure,” Flores said. 

The fifth session of the 94th State FFA Leadership Conference will be held at the Golden 1 Center later this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.  

For any media inquiries, please contact Harrison Reilly at news@californiaffa.org. He can also be reached at 707-337-9539. To learn more about California FFA, visit calaged.org

Proficiency Winners: Diversified Agriculture Production to Outdoor Recreation

  • Diversified Agriculture Production: Ethan Slate, Atwater
  • Diversified Crop Production Entrepreneurship: Carlos Palafox, Fresno-Central
  • Diversified Crop Production Placement: Kody Kevorkian, Hanford
  • Diversified Horticulture Placement: Kadance Umbarger, King City
  • Diversified Livestock Production: Tristan Cardi, Atwater
  • Environmental Science & Natural Resource Management: Kelly Cantrell, Foresthill
  • Equine Science Entrepreneurship: Abigaile Jacobsen, Elk Grove
  • Equine Science Placement: Emily Inez, Visalia-VTEC
  • Fiber/Oil Crop Production: Thomas Simas, Escalon
  • Forage Production: Tyler Verhoeven, Visalia-CVC
  • Forest Management/Products: Fred Velasquez, Livingston
  • Fruit Production: Jayraj Kahlon, Merced-Golden Valley
  • Goat Production: Bailey Ham, Grass Valley-Bear River
  • Landscape Management: Juan Herrera, Watsonville
  • Nursery Operations: Analise Scholten, Sebastopol-West County
  • Outdoor Recreation: Morgan Stubs, McKinleyville
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