Turlock High School FFA Agricultural Welding students recently returned from the California State Fair in Sacramento with a strong showing.
Austin Silva received Best of Show and Outstanding Exhibitor awards in Mechanical Sciences and Anthony Andrino took the Outstanding Welding Award. This is an amazing achievement as welding is not an easy skill to master. It’s actually quite a dangerous hobby to have, so it’s great that Anthony’s talent has been recognized.
As a school, THS FFA captured the best Chapter Group with the best overall five projects and Welding Teacher Chad Russell won the Instructor Sweepstakes Winner. Chad should be equally as proud of himself for also winning an award. As the teacher of these students, Chad taught them everything they know. As welding is so dangerous, Chad really had to make sure he taught these students how to weld properly by using the correct equipment. Chad taught students about multiple welding techniques and tools, such as how to use an ARC welding unit to carefully cut metals. Tools like that are dangerous for students to use, however, Chad made sure to pay close attention to all of his welding students when they were using them. Thanks to Chad, all of the students are now passionate and confident with welding.
For Russell it was a fitting swan song. Six years ago he took the helm as Ag Department Chair at THS and received numerous awards and accolades along the way. In the fall Russell will be leaving THS for a new post as a welding professor at Merced College.
FFA Advisor Joe DiGrazia, who will be replacing Russell as Department Chair next school year, praised his efforts.
“It is was great to see Chad’s students do so well and it is especially meaningful to him since this is his last year with Turlock High School,” DiGrazia said.
- Mechanical Sciences Category Winners (All from Turlock High School FFA):
- Up to $750: Ernesto Santana – Smoker BBQ
- $751 to $2500: Grant Doerksen – 3 point Orchard Float
- $2501 to $5000: Elijah Pacheco – Trailer Dolly
- $5001 to $7500: Steven Vieira –16 foot Tilt Bed Trailer
- $7501 to $10,000: Anthony Andrino – Hay Retriever
- Over $10,000: Austin Silva – A Set of Doubles – Grain Hopper Trailers
- Danny Costa – Gooseneck/Beavertail Implement Trailer
- Trey Smith – 36 foot Chain Drive Silage Trailer
- Kris Melgard – 10 foot Utility Trailer
- Jesse Richmond – Orchard Float
- Kyle Ferguson – 2 Portable Log Splitters
- Bryan Humphrey – Portable BBQ
- Brandon Belerique – 3 Point/3 Shank Vineyard Ripper
- Trevor Cook – 16 foot Dump Trailer
- Cody Cornell – Almond Hopper Trailer
- Justin Serpa – 3 Point Orchard Flail Mower