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On the Job: FFA Members Earn Proficiencies

LAS CRUCES - Experience on the job or with family businesses helped 23 New Mexico FFA members earn proficiencies in areas such as agricultural sales, community development, animal care and specialty crop production.

Members from nine chapters who submitted records, photos and stories were recognized June 3 during the state FFA convention at New Mexico State University.

"The proficiencies showcase students who have taken the opportunity to establish a business or become employed in an agriculture-related field," said Les Purcella, state supervisor of agricultural education and FFA.

Proficiency winners are listed below by high school chapter.


Chelsea Daugherty earned the diversified livestock entrepreneurship proficiency. She is learning about raising steers, swine and sheep through a supervised agricultural experience program. Her parents are Wayne and Dalyne Daugherty


Eight members of the Artesia chapter received proficiency plaques.

Mandy Carter earned the placement proficiency in agricultural services.

Stephanie Hammond, the equine science placement proficiency winner, has developed horse sense working on her family's horse operation. She learned basic animal care, including grooming, vaccinating and cleaning hooves. Her parents are Phillip and Tina Hammond.

Stuart Joy, fiber and oil crop production proficiency winner, carried on the family tradition of cotton farming. His parents are Jack and Diana Joy.

Jake Klein earned the swine production entrepreneurship proficiency by showing swine and running his own show pig operation. He has learned about investments, showing techniques and daily operations of a pig farm. His parents are Timmy and Tammy Klein.

Clay Mason received a proficiency in sheep production for a supervised agricultural experience program raising and showing sheep. His parents are Jimmy and Bunny Mason.

Deonna Neel earned the poultry production proficiency. Her supervised agricultural experience program began as a small project when she was 9 years old. Since then, she has expanded into raising 75 to 90 chicks per year. Her parents are Dough and Dianna Neel.

Mandy Prude's placement proficiency in agricultural sales came from her experiences at KSVP radio, where she learned how to record commercials, sell advertisements, work the audio board and edit her show. Her parents are Mike and Jessica Prude.

Reece Tilton, the agricultural mechanics design and fabrication winner, works at Ryder Services Inc. and on local ranches as part of a supervised agricultural experience. He has learned how to weld, pour cement, haul hay and work with cattle. His parents are Johnny and Stephanie Tilton.

Bradley Vierra, the dairy production entrepreneurship winner, maintains his own dairy heifers and works at a dairy. He has learned proper milking, feeding and animal breeding techniques. His parents are Mike and Susan Vierra.


Kyle Encinias earned a placement proficiency in beef production. His supervised agricultural experience includes working at a feedlot where he has learned about animal breeding, management, selection and feeding. His parents are Martin and Lisa Encinias.


Two members of the Goddard chapter earned proficiencies.

Dusty Winkler, winner of the placement proficiency in small animal production and care, works at College Garden Animal Hospital. He has learned procedures for sanitation, surgery and animal care. His parents are Terry and Lori Winkler.

Kyla Wooton, the diversified crop production placement proficiency winner, works at Graves Farm and Garden. She has developed customer service, leadership and communication skills. Her parents are Kyle and Shannon Wooton.


Drew Turner earned a dairy production placement proficiency working on his family's dairy. He has learned many skills, such as baling hay, irrigating, artificial insemination and maintaining facilities. His parents are James and Tracy Turner.


Sealee Walraven earned the equine science entrepreneurship proficiency. Her supervised agricultural experience program includes three horses: a barrel horse, a roping horse and a filly she is training. Her parents are Alan and Tara Walraven.


Jason Runyan earned the home and community development entrepreneurship proficiency. He has played a vital role in developing a set of corrals and new metal barn. He has learned to think for himself, save money and face challenges with a positive attitude. His parents are Mark and Lisa Runyan.


Six members of the Moriarty FFA chapter earned proficiencies.

Mari Ana Chavez, beef production entrepreneurship proficiency winner, has been involved in her supervised agricultural education program since she was 9 years old. She has developed livestock showing, grooming, breeding, money management and record keeping skills. Her parents are Albert and Clara Chavez.

Amanda Crockett, winner in specialty animal production placement, raises and trains miniature horses. Through her supervised agricultural experience program, she
has learned the importance of animal exercise, grooming and record keeping. Her parents are Roy and Rebecca Barreras.

Brandi Howell earned a home and community development placement proficiency. She works with Moriarty elementary schools, implementing the Partners in Active Learning Support program. Her parents are Guy and Nona Gemmer.

Patrick Pachta, the specialty crop production proficiency winner, is employed by McCall Land and Cattle Company. He has baled alfalfa hay, planted corn and pumpkins, and driven pumpkin shuttles for the annual pumpkin patch. His parents are James Pachta and Nadine Chavez.

Nina Sadberry, winner in specialty animal production entrepreneurship, raises market cabritos (goats). Her supervised agricultural experience program began when she was in eighth grade. Her parents are Craig and Cynthia Sadberry.

William West earned the wildlife production and management placement proficiency while working on the Vista Grande Ranch. He has learned wildlife management basics and people skills from working with hunters. His parents are Rodger and Lisa West.


C.J. Kinsolving, agricultural repair and maintenance proficiency winner, has learned to troubleshoot and tear down, rebuild and modify engines to improve efficiency. He works on his family's ranch, specializing in gasoline motors. His parents are Dean and Brenda Kinsolving.

New Mexico has 6,000 agricultural education students, more than 4,000 of whom belong to FFA. Members participate in community service projects, competitions and leadership events that prepare them for more than 300 careers related to agriculture.