Santa Maria High School FFA judging team places fourth at national contest

Santa Maria High School Milk Quality and Dairy Products judging team coach Mark Powell, left, with members Rosalva Diaz, Jennifer De Leon, Ariadna Romero-Gutierrez and Monserrat Nolasco.

Contributed photo

The Santa Maria High School judging team placed fourth in the nation at the National FFA Milk Quality and Dairy Products Contest.

Winners of the National FFA Milk Quality and Dairy Products Career Development Event were announced recently at the annual awards banquet in conjunction with the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to placing fourth as a team, senior Monserrat Nolasco placed fourth individually and earned a $750 scholarship sponsored by Culver’s.

The Milk Quality and Dairy Products team is coached by Mark Powell with members Rosalva Diaz and Monserrat Nolasco, who are seniors, and juniors Jennifer De Leon and Ariadna Romero-Gutierrez.

The National FFA Milk Quality and Dairy Products CDE is a competitive event that allows students to prove their knowledge about the recognition, selection and management necessary for quality milk and dairy products. Participants must complete a written exam on milk production and marketing, evaluate milk samples for flavor and quality, identify cheeses and characteristics and complete milk acceptability tests in the team activity.

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The Santa Maria FFA team competed at local and state levels to earn the right to represent California at the National FFA Convention & Expo.

“It was an honor to represent Santa Maria FFA and California FFA at the National Contest," Diaz said. "The many hours studying and working with my team has led me to realize that hard work does pay off. In my future I would like to continue to be involved in the agriculture industry and major in Agriculture Engineering.”

The event, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, is one of many educational activities at the national convention in which FFA members apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.

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