INDIANAPOLIS — Winners of the 2017 National Agricultural Proficiency Awards were announced Oct. 27 during the sixth general session at the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo. Awards were given in 47 categories. Following are the winners from Western states:
• Diversified Horticulture, Entrepreneurship/Placement: Jimmy Joey Reyes of the Dayton FFA chapter in Oregon works on his family’s 15.8-acre container and bare root nursery operation and landscape maintenance company. As a child, he would go with his father to help mow lawns and prune landscapes. He began in the nursery as a general field worker, tasked with weeding, irrigating and transplanting plants. He is now the assistant manager. Jimmy plans to pursue a degree in horticulture and agriculture business management. He is supported by his parents, Victoria and Rufino, and his FFA advisor, Mitch Coleman. This award is sponsored by The Toro Co. and Wilbur-Ellis Co.
• Environmental Science and Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship/Placement: Margaret Mackin of the Rigby FFA Chapter in Idaho works for a family business, consulting with landowners and developers, including ranchers and other agricultural producers, to comply with government laws and regulations, particularly those of the Environmental Protection Agency. She helps clients avoid wetland violations, defend against allegations and more. Margaret hopes to study finance in college and become a financial advisor. She is supported by her parents, Susan and William, and her FFA advisors, Robert Hale, Holly Fullmer and Lex Godfrey. This award is sponsored by CHS.
• Grain Production, Placement: Joel Baltazar Mendoza of the Hamilton City FFA Chapter in California has a supervised agricultural experience that includes rice field preparation, planting trials, collecting field data and harvesting the crop. Starting his freshman year, he began working with his father as a rice researcher. Starting with simpler tasks, Joel eventually learned to spray, irrigate, clean and dry seed, ship and harvest. He hopes to major in plant science at California State University at Chico. He is supported by his parents, Lorena and Baltazar, and his FFA advisors, Janice Lohse and Ryan Bentz. This award is sponsored by BASF.
• Veterinary Science, Entrepreneurship/Placement: Katrina Siems of the Morro Bay FFA Chapter in California works for Los Osos Pet Hospital as a kennel technician. Growing up in a household with several pets, she was drawn to the veterinarian. She feeds boarding animals, walks the dogs, and cleans up after closing. She eventually took on the responsibilities of holding dogs for blood draws and giving insulin shots. Katrina plans to attend the University of California-Davis to study animal science with the goal of eventually becoming a veterinarian. She is supported by her parents, Alice and Chris, and her FFA advisor, Peggy Flynn. This award is sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association, Blue Buffalo and Tractor Supply Co.