94th State Leadership Conference: Session Three Recap

SACRAMENTO, March 27, 2022 — Future Farmers of America (FFA) members and supporters from across the state of California returned to the Golden 1 Center for the third session of 94th State FFA Leadership Conference in Sacramento. 

During his retiring address, State FFA Reporter Jake Dowell asked California FFA members: “Will you choose to motivate others and yourself and see the joy and the good in what we have and what we can accomplish?” 

Toosje Van Warmerdam-Koll, the chairman of the California FFA Foundation, gave recognition to the various sponsors, supporters and people who make California FFA possible. 

The first set of proficiency awards were handed out in alphabetical order from Ag Communications to Dairy Production Placement. The winners are listed at the end of this article. 

Special guest Dale Brisby, online sensation and Netflix star, was interviewed by State FFA Treasurer Lesly Madriz. As a former Texas state FFA officer, Brisby credited FFA for giving him the tools to succeed as a professional.  

“I attribute a lot of [my success] to FFA,” Brisby said. “Unless you're planning on being a mountain man, you’re going to have to interact with people. So the better you get that, the more opportunities you’ll have and it will set you up to be successful in whatever you’re passionate about — the FFA really laid a foundation on my life that I was able to build my passion on top of.” 

“I’m a cheerleader for the FFA and if you follow me you’ll know that.” 

Star Reporter, Web Page and National Chapter Awards were also handed out. The winners are as follows: 

  • Star Reporter: Daniela Bastitas, El Centro-Southwest FFA
  • Web Page Award: El Dorado-Union Mine
  • National Chapter Award: Lone Pine FFA

Finally, Jake Dowell gave his retiring address, reflecting on a tumultuous few years and finding inspiration from an FFA member named Jacob from Paradise, California. Paradise was largely destroyed during the Camp Fire in 2018. Jacob made Dowell reflect about the things that really matter in life. 

“When the world slowed down, I lost sight of what was important in my life,” Dowell said. “I now know that our lives are not about being happy because of something, but being grateful for what we have.” 

The fourth session of the 94th State FFA Leadership Conference will be held at the Golden 1 Center tomorrow at 9:00 a.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: Ag Communications to Dairy Production Placement

  • Agriculture Communications: Fiona Affronti, Healdsburg
  • Agricultural Education:  Paloma Wizikowski, Fullerton-Sunny Hills
  • Agricultural Mechanics Design & Fabrication:  John Bray, Hanford
  • Agricultural Mechanics Repair & Maintenance Entrepreneurship: Jeremiah Biliunas, Julian
  • Agricultural Mechanics Repair & Maintenance Placement: Arturo Madriz, Madera
  • Agriculture Processing: Alexis Biasotti, Healdsburg
  • Agriculture Sales Entrepreneurship: Raelynn Dewitt, Exeter
  • Agriculture Sales Placement: Damon Gallegos, Fallbrook
  • Agriculture Services:  Tyler Borba, Gustine
  • Agriscience Research Animal Systems: Emily Carpenter, Hanford
  • Agriscience Research Integrated Systems: Olivia Renzullo, Elk Grove
  • Agriscience Research Plant Systems: Brennan Elzsy, Hanford
  • Beef Production Entrepreneurship: Logan Pomi, Petaluma
  • Beef Production Placement: Juliann Donti, Hollister-San Benito
  • Dairy Production Entrepreneurship: Emma Van Loben Sels, Los Banos
  • Dairy Production Placement: Anthony Agueda, Hughso

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About California FFA: The California Association FFA is part of a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 735,000 student members in 8,817 local FFA chapters across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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