Thanks to a massive community “cow herding” fundraising effort to raise more than $18,000, a group of 23 Turlock High School FFA students are currently in Kentucky to attend the National FFA Convention in Louisville.
Amongst the THS students, Peter DiGrazia, Kayla Hilvers, Alexander Luis, Gene Silviera and Mark Vieira are all receiving their American FFA Degrees — the highest level of membership and the final step in the FFA system that encourages youth to establish themselves into an ag-related career. Only about 3,500 are distributed each year at the Convention.
Over the summer, THS FFA students worked countless efforts placing “cow herds” on people’s lawns all over Turlock. In return, the community donated $18,000 to send the students to the convention.
On Tuesday, the group flew out of San Francisco and arrived in Lexington where they are staying at a hotel. As part of the fundraising efforts the students will have visited the Indianapolis “Brickyard” Motor Speedway and Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Churchill Downs, the site of the Kentucky Derby.
Also, they will attend the National FFA Convention.
“Its a great experience for them to meet people and explore all of the opportunities they have in ag,” said THS Ag Teacher Randee Prada.
Prada explained that for many of the students it was their first trip out of state, or even on an airplane.
“The kids did a great job fundraising, but they had to work a lot for it and that is the best part. Now they are really enjoying themselves,” said Prada.
The students will return to Turlock Sunday. THS Ag Teacher Nick Traini is also on the trip as an advisor/chaperone.