Madera wins national FFA championship


For The Madera Tribune

From left to right, Madera FFA instructor Kristin Sheehan and students Kassandra Hernandez, Marilyn Bautista, Mercedes Gonzalez, and Elena Robles pose with their national championship medals and plaque on October 27 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

All-Girl veterinary science team brings home the gold


Members of Madera South High School’s all-girl FFA veterinary science team struck pay dirt and brought home the gold from competition at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.


After winning the state championship, students Marylyn Bautista, Mercedes Gonzalez, Kassandra Hernandez, and Elena Robles, accompanied by their instructor, Kristin Sheehan, traveled to Indianapolis last week for the national competition. Over 40 teams from the U.S. and Puerto Rico competed, and 22 teams qualified for the live event.


The competition, sponsored by Zoetis Animal Health and the U.S. Poultry Association, focused on two areas: Leadership Development and Career Development. Students competed individually in veterinary skill practicums and, as a team, on the role of telemedicine in the veterinary industry.


The Madera team won first place and the national championship, as well as a host of individual medals. Robles, Hernandez, Gonzalez, and Bautista all received national champion medals and a plaque.


Robles was the high individual overall and high individual in the veterinary knowledge test. Hernandez was second high individual, overall, and Gonzalez was the third high individual, overall. Gonzalez also received first place recognition in the identification component. All four ladies received gold recognition for their performance.


The team prepared for the competition with long hours of practice, Zoom sessions, and fundraising by offering dog grooming services.


Team members also conducted interviews with veterinarians Dr. Monica Dougherty, DVM of Madera Veterinary Center, and Dr. Tara Urbano, DVM of UC Davis, to help prepare them for the competition.


Old Castle Infrastructure also assisted throughout the preparation process.

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