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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico FFA members receive proficiency awards

New Mexico FFA members received proficiency and state star awards during the 80th Annual New Mexico FFA State Convention June 2-4 in Las Cruces, N.M., at New Mexico State University.


Each of the students received their awards for taking part in a supervised agricultural experience (SAE). SAEs are designed to help prepare students for a career in agriculture in a specific field of interest.

Nathan Worley of the Artesia FFA chapter received the agricultural communications proficiency award. Worley is employed at the KSVP radio station in Artesia, and his news broadcasts cover local and national agriculture topics.

The proficiency award for agricultural mechanics repair and maintenance was given to Ryan Garrett. Garrett is in the Socorro FFA chapter and works as a mechanic at an automotive shop in Socorro.

Another Socorro FFA member, Matthew Harris, was given the beef production proficiency award. He owns 33 head of breeding beef cattle and five head of feeder steers. Harris is responsible for all phases of his beef cattle operation, from branding to vaccinating.

Corona FFA chapter member Cindy Burroughs received the agricultural sales proficiency award. Burroughs is employed at her family's automobile parts, sales and repair shop and hardware store. Some of her duties include maintaining inventory, customer sales and assisting with small repairs.

Melissa Freitas was the agricultural services proficiency award winner. Freitas is a member of the Texico FFA chapter. She is a partner in her family's milk-testing business, which provides services to 27 dairies in New Mexico and Texas.

Joan Gallegos of the Las Cruces FFA chapter received the diversified horticulture proficiency award. She works at her family's pecan orchard, assisting with irrigation, harvesting and other management activities.

The proficiency award for small animal care and production was awarded to Chelsea Howard, also of the Las Cruces FFA chapter. Howard trains border collies to work livestock and competes at stock dog trial shows across the nation.

San Jon FFA member Lisa Mitchell was the diversified livestock proficiency award winner. Mitchell has improved the scope of her breeding beef cattle and show animals by improving nutrition and extensive vaccination.

Kaylyn Bates was the environmental science and natural resource management proficiency award winner. Bates is a member of the Moriarty FFA chapter and is a volunteer employee with the Edgewood Soil and Water Conservation District.

Roland Jacques of the Gadsden FFA chapter received the forage production proficiency award. Jacques participates in the summer cooperative farming project directed by his FFA chapter. He manages the school's alfalfa hay acreage and leases other alfalfa hay property.

The 2008 star in agriculture placement is Dusty Anderson, a member of the Artesia FFA chapter. Anderson is employed at a feed store in Artesia and his duties include loading feed, assisting customers and operating equipment.

Keith Sultemeier of the Carrizozo FFA chapter was awarded the star in agribusiness. He runs his own lawn and landscape business, working with contractors and realtors.

Elida FFA member Ryan Best received the star in production agriculture. His SAE focuses on the production of animals for the show ring.

The star greenhand in agribusiness was Alyssa Hackett of the Moriarty FFA chapter. Hackett is employed at a ranch near Moriarty and participates in everything from branding to building fence.

Tell Runyan of the Melrose FFA chapter was named the star greenhand in production agriculture. Runyan produces his own show cattle and also sells his cattle to other exhibitors in the region.