Denair High School FFA Students Have Strong Showing at Fair

Submitted by Denair High School

Denair High FFA students had a very successful showing at the recent Stanislaus County Fair in Turlock. The fair is the annual culmination of many months of work getting animals ready to show or completing projects.

Here are the results:




Chris Galhano: Reserve Champion Market Lamb and 1st place in Senior Showmanship

Hector Obando: Reserve Champion junior dairy doe, 1st place dam/daughter dairy goats

Abi Dirkse: Champion and Reserve Grade Beef Heifer

Madison Womack: 1st in class goat

Bryson Prock: 1st place welding trailer

Brielle Prock: 1st  in skillet arrangements, box arrangements and lunch box arrangements

Chenoa Urchison: 2nd in class swine

Danielle Tigner: 4th in class swine

Yesenia Barrera: 4th in class goats

Cierra Rodriguez: 4th in class goat

Jesus Perez: 5th in class beef

Blain Cole: 6th in novice sheep showmanship

Alexandria Sanders: 8th in novice goat showmanship

Tristan Haile: 12th in advanced showmanship


Everyone with a market animal made weight and grade, meaning they sold at the junior livestock auction.  Here are the rest of the Denair FFA students who participated in the fair:


Emilee Fanning: sheep

Heidi Johnson:  goat, dairy goat

Logan Johnson: goat

Jacob Lewellen: goat

Crystal Mancilla: sheep

Christian Obando: sheep

Kelsey Park: goat

Courtney Prock: goat

Kyle Prock: replacement heifer

Angelo Retana: goat

Justin Short: goat

Adrianna Snyder:  goat

Denair High Grad Kyle Prock Honored with Top FFA Award

Submitted by Denair High School

Kyle Prock comes from a farming family, which makes the DEKALB Agricultural Accomplishment Award he recently was given even more special.

Prock’s grandfather, father and uncle all have been involved in the Future Farmers of America organization through the decades. They have devoted their lives to raising beef and dairy cattle.

“Not everyone wants to be a farmer, but if it weren’t for farmers or ag, the world would be a lot worse off,” Prock told the Turlock Journal. “The FFA is a once in a lifetime opportunity that every kid and every school should experience.”

Prock appears poised to carry on the family legacy. The DEKALB award recognizes FFA members who excel in academics, leadership and ag work experience. That pretty much sums up Prock’s life so far.

The 2017 Denair High graduate was the quarterback on the playoff-bound football team last fall, though a knee injury cost him part of the season. It also prevented him from wrestling last winter, though he worked hard to rehab the knee so he could play baseball this spring.

Prock has been very active in various FFA projects and responsibilities. He credits the organization with providing the experiences that led to a bevy of small scholarships this spring.

“At other, bigger schools, you’re either an athlete or in FFA,” Prock told the Journal. “It’s cool because at a small school like Denair, you’re able to be an ag kid and a sports kid.”

His knee healed, Prock plans to play football again this fall at Merced College. But his longer-term focus is transferring to Fresno State in two years to pursue a career in agribusiness. He’d like to become an ag real estate appraiser.

“Kyle is an amazing student athlete,” praised Denair High Principal Kara Backman. “He is self-driven, passionate about agriculture and will succeed with any goal he sets for himself.  I am honored to be his past high school principal. He is a next generation leader in our community.”

Denair Students on the Move – Trips Set This Year to Fresno, Magic Mountain and Disneyland

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Students at Denair High School and Denair Charter Academy soon will be logging some miles traveling up and down Highway 99 to Fresno and Southern California.

School board trustees approved three upcoming trips at their meeting Thursday night.

The first is April 22-25 when as many as 19 FFA students from Denair High are expected to attend the state FFA convention in Fresno. The conference is one of the high points of the FFA calendar each year, anticipated almost as much as county fairs where animals are shown and projects are judged.

The convention provides leadership training, networking and growth opportunities for students. An estimated 5,000 teens from across the state attend each year. Denair’s attendees are selected based on their participation in FFA events, their grade-point averages and the effort they put forth in classes.

“There are sessions with speakers and other breakouts on different topics. It’s very popular and important for students,” Denair High ag teacher Molly Hanson told the board. She, fellow teacher Matthew Marshall and at least one other adult will chaperone the Denair contingent.

Trustee Ray Prock Jr. went to the convention with his son three years ago and said it was a terrific experience. “This is something to see. The only thing that rivals it is the national convention in Indianapolis.”

A second trip involves soon-to-be graduates at DCA, an independent study program separate from the traditional high school. For the first time, there will be a senior trip for graduates to a Southern California theme park. Only instead of going to Disneyland, as many schools do (Denair High grads will go May 10-11), DCA students will enjoy the roller coasters and other thrills at Magic Mountain in Valencia. Continue reading “Denair Students on the Move – Trips Set This Year to Fresno, Magic Mountain and Disneyland” »

Denair High Grad Ken Carder Earns Prestigious FFA Award


Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Ken Carder will join an elite group of high-achieving ag students at this week’s FFA national convention in Indianapolis.

Carder, a 2015 Denair High graduate, will receive the American FFA degree, which is awarded to only about 1% of students nationally. According to the FFA website, only those members “who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences” earn the award.

Carder, 19, has been an FFA member for six years and represented Denair many times at the Stanislaus County Fair. He has shown cows, pigs, chickens and goats. In 2012, his Yorkshire pig was named grand champion.

“I’m been raising pigs the longest, so they’re my favorite, but I also like dairy cattle because they’re different to control,” he said.

There are nearly 630,000 FFA members across the country. Of that group, about 4,500 are being honored at a ceremony Saturday morning with American FFA degrees. Carder is one of about 350 recipients from California and the first from Denair High in six years.

Carder now attends Modesto Junior College while working at the Taylor Vet Clinic in Turlock, helping with small animals and occasionally horses. His goal is to transfer to Chico State, Cal Poly, Fresno State or possibly Kansas State, majoring in ag business.

Carder’s stepmother, Michelle Bettencourt, said he promised her a few years he would achieve a higher FFA rank than she did as a student at Downey High in Modesto. Bettencourt got as high as the state level during her FFA career.

“He said he was going to beat me and he did,” said Bettencourt, who will accompany her husband and Carder to Indiana this week.

Carder said it’s the friendships that he will miss most as his FFA ends after this weekend’s ceremony.

“I mainly just focus on the times I’ve spent with my friends at competitions or meetings,” he said when asked about a favorite memory. “I look back and know I couldn’t have done it without their support. They kept me sane.”

Denair High FFA Students Excel at Stanislaus County Fair

Denair FFA Sign

Submitted by Denair High School

The 28 Denair High FFA students had an exceptional 10 days at the recently completed Stanislaus County Fair, collecting award after award and successfully competing against much larger schools.

“I believe our students represented the quality of school, community and FFA programs we have at Denair. Across the board, our students have thrived and I am committed to continue to build the FFA program at Denair for all students,” said Matthew Marshall, one of the high school’s two ag teachers.

Here is a complete list of Denair’s awards from the fair, which ran from July 8-17.


  • Denair FFA: 1st place Clean Barn Award, 3rd place Grade Dairy Chapter Group Award, 5th place Registered Dairy Chapter Group Award
  • Carson Haringa: 4th place Advanced Dairy Showmanship
  • Ryan Haringa: 1st place intermediate Dairy Showmanship
  • Chase Pritt: 1st Place novice Dairy Showmanship
  • Bryson Prock: 6th place intermediate Dairy Showmanship
  • Alyce Silva: 8th place intermediate Dairy Showmanship

Meat Goats

  • Denair FFA: 2nd place Chapter Group Award
  • Kelsey Park: 3rd place Novice Goat Showmanship
  • Markus Rocha: Champion Drive Market Goat, Reserve Junior Buck,  2nd place Advanced Breeding Meat Goat Showmanship, 7th place Master Showmanship (7th best showman, out of 1,400+ exhibitors)
  • Cierra Rodriguez: 8th place Novice Goat Showmanship

Dairy Goats

  • Heidi Johnson: 5th place Advanced dairy goat showmanship

Continue reading “Denair High FFA Students Excel at Stanislaus County Fair” »