Lacey Peterson
The Union Democrat

Bret Harte High School FFA students attended the FFA Central Region Conference March 17 at San Joaquin Delta College and 15 received State FFA degrees.

The State FFA Degree is the highest state award an FFA member can achieve, said Roy Beck, Bret Harte High agriculture teacher.

"It's a pretty big honor, Beck said.

Students who earned the award included juniors Caitlin Ramorini, Shannon Tower, Amanda French, Krystin Peirano, Kelsey Lowe, Lauren Young, Laura Chraft, Stephen Molina, Austin Whittle, Justice Rasmussen, Heather Kirkendall, Bradley Pappageorge and Dylan Cano; and seniors Jordyn Rohrabaugh and Danielle Kumanchik.

Angels Camp agriculture supporter Darrin Mills was also awarded the "Hometown Hero Award," Beck said.

Mills owns Distinctive Metals in Angels Camp, is Ag Boosters president,

and serves on the fair board and ag advisory committee.

"He helps with everything," Beck said.

To receive a state FFA degree, members must have earned a chapter

FFA degree, been an active FFA member for at least two years, completed

at least two years of school instruction in agricultural education,

earned and invested at least $1,000 or have worked at least 300 hours

outside of class through a supervised agriculture event, demonstrated

leadership ability by performing 10 parliamentary law procedures, given

a six-minute speech on a topic relating to agriculture or FFA, served

as an FFA officer, maintained a satisfactory academic record,

participated in the planning and implementation of the chapter's

Program of Activities, participated in at least five different FFA

activities above the chapter level, and completed at least 25 hours of

community service in a minimum of two different activities.

The Bret Harte FFA students attended the state Field Day at Modesto Junior College on Saturday.

The Poultry Team placed first, the Dairy Products Team placed

first, the Floriculture Team placed second, and the Agriculture

Mechanics Team and Best Informed Greenhand Team did well, Beck said.

"We had a hugely successful Judging Trip. We did so good that we

won the Sweepstakes award for being the highest winning school of the

entire field day. The kids were stoked as a small school like ours

hardly ever can compete and beat the large schools," Beck said in an