Kim Moretti elected 2012-13 Petaluma FFA Chapter Sweetheart!
Kim is a senior at Petaluma High School. She was elected Chapter Sweetheart, which has been a long standing tradition for Petaluma FFA. Kim has been an active member in the FFA for four years. Her projects are her horses which she barrel races and competes in gymkhanas. Kim is an active member of the Petaluma Junior Ring Club and their drill team. Congratulations Kim!!
Jessie Peterson- courtsey of pressdemocrat.com
Petaluma High School senior Jessie Peterson with her cow, Zoey, at her home in Petaluma. Press Democrat photo by Beth Schlanker Petaluma born and raised, high school senior Jessie Peterson plans to be a lifelong resident and turn her agriculture interests into a local career. Active for most of her life in 4H and FFA programs, Peterson also works at a local veterinary office and sees a future for herself in teaching ag. Some teens struggle for direction and focus, but that isn’t an issue with the 18-year-old Petaluma High School senior.
Dairy Princess Ball- 2013 - courtsey of petaluma360.com
St. Vincent de Paul High School senior Francesca Gambonini, 17, was crowned the District 3 Dairy Princess at the 56th annual Dairy Princess Contest and Ball on Saturday, April 13.
In her new role as a spokesperson for the dairy industry, Gambonini will attend fairs, community events and visit classrooms to educate the public about the dairy industry. This annual event co-sponsored by the North Bay Dairy Women and the California Milk Advisory Board was held at the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building in front of a large crowd.
Outgoing princess, Suzanne Amaral crowned Gambonini as the new princess. Contestant Jessie Peterson of Petaluma was crowned First Alternate and Makenzie Floyd of Sebastopol is the new Second Alternate.
Callie Marsh of Petaluma, who was celebrating her 18th birthday, was awarded the Isolena Maestretti Miss Vitality Award. This award is voted on by all the contestants and goes to the girl who is the most helpful during the days events and the most outgoing.
Gambonini won the Florence Gilardoni Memorial Scholarship worth $500 to help pursue her career goal of majoring in agricultural science/agricultural Education.Dan Charles, a student at Santa Rosa Junior College was awarded the $500 Bernice Hadermann Memorial Scholarship. Also a contestant for the event was Regina Pozzi of Petaluma.
A sixth generation dairy farmer, Gambonini is the daughter of Frank and Stacey. The future dairy cattle geneticist will attend California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo in the fall and has already traveled the world for dairy competitions. She was also honored this week with being chosen as co-valedictorian for her graduating class.
Petaluma FFA Brings Home National Title Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management 2012
Courtesy of the National FFA Organization (www.ffa.org)
INDIANAPOLIS – In nationwide competition held Wednesday, October 24 & 25 Petaluma FFA won the Dairy Cattle Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE). Winners of the Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management CDEwere announced Friday, October 26, at the annual awards luncheon. The event was held in conjunction with the 85th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. James Ertl of Minnesota served as superintendent of the event.
This year’s team includes Alexandra Gambonini, Francesca Gambonini, Regina Pozzi and Jessie Jones. The team will represent the United States in international competition at the Royal Highland Livestock Show in Ediburgh, Scotland in June 2013. This marks the second time in three years that Petaluma FFA will have a team competing in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The top ten individuals and the national winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success at the event. The cash awards and the dairycattle evaluation event are sponsored by Allflex USA Inc.
The National FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management CDE is a competitive event that tests the student’s ability to select and manage quality dairy cattle. Event components include evaluation of six classes of dairy cattle, herd record evaluation and a dairy management team activity. Each team competed at local and state levels to earn the privilege of representing their home state at the National FFA Convention & Expo.
The event, held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, is one of many educational activities at the National FFA Convention and Expo in which FFA members demonstrate their ability to apply classroom knowledge to real-life situations.
Congratulations!!! We are so proud of you all. These four ladies plan to head to Scotland in June of 2013 to compete in the Royal Highland Show. A special thanks to the advisors, coaches and parents to helped to make these four individuals the National Champions that they are today! Also, thank you for everyone that has donated in support of this team in the present, past and future. We surely appreciate all of your contributions!!
Local FFA Students Headed to Nationals in the Fall
Frank Gambonini (coach), Alexandra Gambonini, Francesca Gambonini, Jessica Jones, Regina Pozzi and Dominic Grossi (coach).
Over the weekend, the Petaluma Future Farmers of America dairy team took first place at the state finals, held at Cal State University, San Luis Obispo. Now they'll be heading to FFA's national competition in Indianapolis this October, where they will be representing the entire state. Congratulations!
Future Farmers of America focuses on building leadership, communication skills and teamwork through agricultural experiences and prepares youth for careers in agriculture.
(This is one in an occasional series of stories on local agriculture)
Facts DISCOVERING 4-H Sonoma County 4-H Clubs are part of the University of California Cooperative Extension and state 4-H Youth Development Program. — Distribution: There are five clubs in Petaluma: Liberty, Two Rock, Golden Hills, Live Oak and Wilson with a total membership of more than 200 youth. County wide, there are 28 clubs enrolling approximately 1200 members. —Four H's: They stand for head, heart, hands, and health, all part of the 4-H pledge. —Joining: Club membership is available to youth in kindergarten through 12th grade. Adults can join as leaders. Contact the Sonoma County 4-H office at 565-2681 or visit http://cesonoma.ucdavis.edu/Youth_Development/. Club meetings begin in August or September.
Each June, young 4-Hers decked out in signature uniforms of white jeans, white shirts, and green tie or kerchiefs can be found at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, evidence that a program started more than one hundred years ago as a club for rural youth continues to thrive and maintain its relevance for today's cell phone- and computer-loving kids.
Jessie Peterson, 17, will be one of the 4-H members enthusiastically showing off a year's worth of hard work at this year's fair. A member of Liberty 4-H who plans to pursue a double major in ag education and animal sciences at California State University, Chico, she credits the 4-H program with putting her on a path that she hopes will lead to a career teaching agriculture.
“I wouldn't be where I am today in school and in my life without 4-H,” she said, naming a long list of life skills she's picked up from the program: time management, self confidence, leadership and communication.
Learning how to manage her own budget is another skill Peterson says she learned through 4-H. “I have gotten loans to purchase animals. I keep tabs on what my expenses are and then repay the loan when I sell the sheep. Now, I am completely self-supporting from my job and animals,” she said.
For Peterson and others, the fair is the pinnacle of a year's worth of learning and work. “Fairs are what we strive for,” she said. “It's where we show off what we have worked so hard for the entire year.”
The process on leading to the fair begins in the fall when members choose their projects for the year. Each 4-H club has a different group of projects to choose from. They range from learning how to raise and care for large animals such as sheep and hogs or small animals like chickens or guinea pigs, to training dogs or learning archery.
Some 4-H club members choose to do one project for the year, while others, like Peterson, take on several. This year, she has entries at the fair in Holstein cows, beekeeping, rabbits, cooking, community service and livestock judging.
4-H is best known for teaching animal husbandry, but many clubs offer technology and engineering related projects as well. “While a lot of kids are involved because of their ag background, one of the biggest misconceptions about 4-H is that it's just about animals but it's much more,” said Liz Grube, co-community club leader of Liberty 4-H. “Arts and crafts, robotics, photography and even viticulture are offered at some clubs.”
In 4-H, learning is hands-on, with the youth designing what they want to do and how they want to go about it and adults providing support. “As part of our dog project, the kids wanted to add a community service component,” said Perri Hanlon, a leader of Liberty 4-H. “They came up with the idea to make dog toys and sell them at a local pumpkin patch to raise funds for the Petaluma Animal Shelter. I know I'm doing a good job as a leader when they take an idea and run with it.”
Youth club members also lead 4-H meetings. “I hear from people you can always tell a 4-Her because they know how to run a meeting. They know Robert's Rules of Order, they can articulate the subject to their peers, take minutes, and the treasurer understands how to balance a budget,” said Grube.
Some of the life skills learned through 4-H come from coping with challenges. “Right before the showmanship portion of the fair, my cow banged her leg and I got cut from the class,” Peterson said. “That had never happened before and I wasn't sure how to react but I kept my composure so I could be a role model for the younger kids. Fairs have a lot of ups and downs but the ups always outweigh the downs.”
One of the ups for Peterson was winning the Redwood Empire Holstein Association “Best 4-H Holstein Exhibitor,” which requires preparing an educational display and doing an interview. “This is the award (where) I won my calf Evie,” she said. “It is one of the coolest awards because I can continue on with her, showing her in the spring yearling class just to see how she does, and then when she's old enough, I'll breed her.”
At the fair, Peterson says she'll spend the entire day in the barn answering questions. “It's really important to me to be an educator. We live in an ag-based community, yet it's shocking to see how many people in Petaluma have never seen livestock before. That's why I like being out in public. I can tell people the truth about agriculture.”
Petaluma's FFA four team members — Mandy Brazil, Kelli Cartensen, Sam Cheda and Rocco Cunningham — competed in the prestigious Royal Highland Show in Scotland and came through with flying colors.
The Petaluma ag students competed against teams from the United States consisting of the other top FFA teams, the best 4-H teams and the top three junior college teams. Scotland and the United States are the countries that compete in the show each year.
The team of Brazil and Cartensen placed first, and Cunningham and Cheda finished second. In the individual competition, Cunningham finished first, Brazil second and Cartensen third.
The competition calls on the two-member dairy evaluation teams to complete a series of skills including animal evaluations, oral arguments to support their findings, rating an animal's lineage and other industry skills.
The Royal Highland Show, first held in 1822, draws competitors from around the globe and pulled in a record number of spectators at nearly 190,000 when it ran from June 24-27.
In addition to the competition, the team traveled to London, France, Germany, Belgium and attended an international dairy cattle sale in Luxembourg.
Petaluma High has sent five other teams to the national competition, but it was the first time a team from Sonoma County advanced to the prestigious international contest.
The long time line of the competition means the Petaluma team are all now Petaluma alumni.
Brazil, Carstensen and Cheda just completed their freshmen year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cunningham is headed to Cornell University in the fall.
The Petaluma team earned a place in the competition by winning the state competition in May 2009 and taking second at the nationals in October.
Congratulations to the students and thanks to their coach, advisors and families for their support.
Members of the Petaluma Future Farmers of America team packed gift bags Monday for their host families in preparation for their trip to Edinburgh, Scotland to participate in the 170th Royal Highland Show. From left are Sam Cheda, Rocco Cunningham, Kelli Carstensen and Mandy Brazil.
Published: Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:44 p.m. Last Modified: Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.
(This is the first in a series of reports by the Petaluma Future Farmers of America team over the next couple of weeks about their competition in the 170th Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland and their subsequent travels in Europe. This report is by team member Rocco Cunningham.)
Scotland: Report No. 1
After 18 hours of travel, we arrived in Glasgow at 7 a.m. local time on Thursday. Once we retrieved our luggage, we boarded the coaches and headed for the Scottish Museum of Rural Life. While at the museum, we learned about farm implements used in the 18th century and 19th century, as well as modern implements used by Scottish farmers.
As part of the museum, the National Trust received a donation of a local farmstead from the Reid family that serves as an outdoor learning laboratory that is experienced by many local school children each year.
Recently at the farmstead, 11 piglets and five Ayrshire calves were born. During the summer months, the farm is producing sheep, milk and perennial rye grass in order to maintain the dairy herd.
Once we finished at the museum, we traveled to the Scottish Agricultural College in Ayr. While there, herdsman John McAusland led us on a tour of their pastures, calf barn and milking parlor.
At the college, McAusland has implemented two new technologies in order to deal with environmental concerns and animal welfare issues. The first is the Slurrytank, which stores waste from the barns for six months before it is used as an all natural fertilizer on their pastures. The other is the automatic calf feeder, which allows each calf to feed at its leisure while interacting in an open pen with other calves.
In McAusland's experience, the automatic calf feeder has been proven to increase the overall health and well-being of the animals because they can develop physically and socially within the herd.
(This is the fifth in a series of reports by the Petaluma Future Farmers of America team over a couple weeks about their competition in the 170th Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland and their subsequent travels in Europe. This report is by team member Kelli Carstensen.)
Luxembourg and Germany: Report No. 5
The last time I checked in with you, we had just finished up our time in France and were heading onwards to Luxembourg.
We left our hotel on Thursday morning and headed toward Luxembourg, a tiny country sharing borders with Germany and Belgium. On our way, we actually drove through Belgium for about an hour, and stopped to eat lunch there as well! Make that six countries we get to visit here! The hour for lunch I spent in Belgium was amazing! The people there were so genuine and kind, though almost none of them spoke English! Good thing I took a little bit of French, so we had a little more ability to communicate!
My grandmother and I ate lunch in a small bakery in the town of Bastogne. I must say, the food was amazing. The crepes were delicious, and the strawberries on them tasted a little bit wild and deliciously sweet! Then we had to say goodbye to Belgium and continue on our way.
As we drove on, we entered the small country of Luxembourg, and made our first stop to drop students off with their host families. At the stop, we saw a monument dedicated solely to the U.S. soldiers who helped keep the Germans out of Luxembourg during World War II. It seems that they are forever grateful for our help in keeping their homes and lifestyle many years ago.
Sam, Rocco, Mandy and I all got off
on the second bus stop in Ettelbruck, at the fairgrounds where the show took
place. My host mom had to work late, so my new "sister" Sabrina and I went down
to the cattle barns with J.P. Flamming, Mandy's host, for a few hours. We then
drove with him to his dairy and took a look at his cows while he got feed for
the ones at the show. It was definitely a sight to see, he had about 40 bulls
there waiting to either become A1 studs or cleanup bulls for other farms.
We also saw one of the highest genomically tested Holstein cows in Germany/Luxembourg. The scenery there was amazing; there was a view to die for! His farm was on a hill that looked out across some small forests, rolling green hills, and pasture for miles around. No big city there!
We finally headed home from the fair with our host mom, Nathalie Drauden, at about midnight and drove a half hour to her home in Germany. At one point, she stopped on the bridge and said, "Look, half the car is in Germany and half the car is in Luxembourg!"
Friday, July 2 was a long, crazy day ... but boy, was it fun! We headed to the fairgrounds at 9:30 a.m., arriving at 10, where we met with World Wide Sires to talk about the sale they would be putting on that night. Then, California jumped right in and took the first shift watching the sale heifers. It was also Holstein Day at the fair, so the show was going on as well. It was extremely hot as well, with the temperature reaching about 37 degrees Celsius, well over 90 Fahrenheit. Needless to say, the sale barn (with two giant fans) was the place to be all day. I even experienced ice cream made from sheep's milk! It was 100% delicious!
We ended up judging a class of cows in the Holstein show, which consisted of eight animals. One of the boys from Illinois gave reasons on how he placed it, and then the judge from Germany gave the official. We have not yet heard the results, but we will find out tonight and will let you know how we did!
The last part of the day focused entirely on the sale. We each had at least one, if not two heifers that we were responsible for taking over to the sale ring and walking on the auction block. Personally, I had two heifers to walk and I enjoyed every second of it! The sale averaged 4,600 Euros, and the high seller went for 14,000 Euros. The experience was absolutely amazing! I got to learn all the details of running a show in Europe, what goes on behind the scenes, and a few differences in our sales versus theirs. For one, they read the same information for each animal in four different languages! Needless to say, the sale of each animal took much longer than it would back home. Also, the sale did not end until 11:30 p.m., which my host mom said was totally normal, and that sometimes the sale goes later. At the end of the sale, I was absolutely thrilled when one of the local breeders came up to me and said that he thought I did a wonderful job on the halter during the sale. He also knew that I was from California — so yay! — good impressions about us here!
We left at about midnight and then it was off to bed! This morning we are heading to the swimming pool, as it is hot again, then watching a soccer game between Germany and Argentina.
— Kelli Carstensen
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