On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, FFA members from the Las Cruces FFA Chapter, the Centennial FFA Chapter, and the Mayfield FFA Chapter traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete at the national level, representing New Mexico in several competition areas.

The following teams won State Championship titles at the New Mexico State Career Development Contests and qualified to compete at the National FFA Convention and Expo in October. Teams were: Centennial FFA Chapter Food Science and Technology Team with members Faith Leal, Serenity Leal, Natalia Molinar and M’Kenna Price; Las Cruces High School FFA Chapter Dairy Evaluation team with members Yamili Terrones, Zia Miller, Kaydens Koenig and Elida Miller;  and Mayfield FFA Chapter Talent Competition with musician Grady Hodnett.

The Food Science and Technology Career Development Event (CDE) requires students to have an in-depth understanding of food product development, food presentation, and food safety issues. Participants also use their sensory skills to solve problems and make sound decisions. The Dairy Cattle Evaluation CDE emphasizes skills in dairy cattle selection and dairy herd management. Students compete in a two-sire selection exercise, a herd record exercise and judge classes of dairy cattle and present oral reasons on their placings. The Talent CDE showcases the talent of an FFA member or members in various areas. State winners are invited to compete at the National FFA Talent Competition held at the National FFA Convention.

“Being a past Ag teacher, I highly respect and value the hard work it takes to be invited to compete at the National level, it’s a highlight even to qualify,” said LCPS Superintendent Ralph Ramos. “The FFA motto, ‘learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve.’ is one that keeps me going, and I see these kids living and breathing that motto every day. I look forward to seeing these students continue to excel.”

The top ten individuals and the national winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success in the event. The CHS Food Science team received a gold rating and was eighth overall. Faith Leal received a gold rating and was seventh in her individual. Serenity Leal, Natalia Molinar and M’Kenna Price all received a silver rating as individuals. The Centennial FFA Advisor and coach is Cassie Goff.  The LCHS Dairy Evaluation team earned a silver rating overall.  Yamili Torres and Zia Miller eared bronze ratings as individuals and Kaydens Koenig and Elida Miller earned silver ratings. The Las Cruces High School Advisors and coaches are Raul Perea, Jessie Gute and Sharlae Garcia.  Grady Hodnett performed very well at National Convention but did not make it to the final round of talent competition. The Mayfield Advisors are Trevor Wax and Kendall Gonzales.

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-635-9303, slewis@lcps.net