Hard Work and Long Hours Pay Off for Denair High FFA Students at Stanislaus County Fair

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

TURLOCK – There are no shortcuts to success for FFA students at the Stanislaus County Fair. Just ask Brielle Prock and Yasmin Mendoza.

The two Denair High sophomores-to-be spent more than 50 hours – including three consecutive 12-hour days – preparing their joint entry in the outdoor garden exhibit. Together, they transformed a barren 10-foot by 10-foot plot into a colorful July 4th backyard barbecue motif, highlighted by flowers planted in the shape of an American flag.

Their hard work impressed the judges, who awarded them first place in their category and defeating larger teams from Turlock High and Enochs in Modesto.

“We started planning it in May before school ended, but most of the work happened later,” Prock said of the garden. “We knocked it out in 10 days.”

She credited many in the Denair community for their help, including monetary support from the Denair FFA Ag Boosters that allowed them to purchase the flowers.

Long days are a common theme for the 41 Denair students who entered livestock or projects into this year’s fair, which wraps up its 10-day run on Sunday.

“The fair is kind of an addiction,” admitted Blain Cole, a junior this fall who is the incoming president of the Denair FFA. He’s often on site by 6 a.m. with other students to tend to their animals. He sometimes goes home or leaves to for lunch in the afternoon, but returns later to watch over his Hampshire lamb and mingle with friends. It’s the same fair schedule he’s been on for six years.

“It’s fun,” he said, “but the rush of showing (animals) can wear you out.”

Courtney Prock, a recent Denair High graduate (and Brielle’s cousin), also is a fair veteran. Her entry this year was an unnamed 97-pound Boer goat she’s had since April. It’s her fourth time showing goats or pigs. She enjoys the competition and doesn’t mind the long days.

“My sophomore year was probably the best year,” she said. “All the people showing goats were nice. And a bunch of us played cards and board games” on folding tables near the stalls.

Continue reading “Hard Work and Long Hours Pay Off for Denair High FFA Students at Stanislaus County Fair” »

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

28 Denair High Students Enter Stanislaus County Fair

Denair FFA Sign

Submitted by Denair High School

The Stanislaus County Fair opened Friday, but the preparations by 28 Denair High School FFA students began much, much earlier. Animals were bought and trained, and metal and wood projects were designed and crafted.

And even before fair officials swung open their gates for the 105th time, some of the Denair contingent already had collected ribbons.

Because there is not enough space in the crowded livestock areas, judging of goats, sheep, cows and other animals began as early as July 6.

Chris Galhano’s ewe was selected Reserve Supreme Champion, the second-highest award in the sheep category. Similarly, Tristan Haile’s Hampshire/Suffolk lamb finished second, the first of six animals she will show before the fair ends. Denair’s FFA Market Goat Group (Markus Rocha, Courtney Prock, Kelsey Park, Cierra Rodriguez and Hector Obando) was second out of 15 clubs in the Chapter Group competition.

Markus Rocha was second in advanced showmanship with his goat, qualifying him for the master showmanship finals. He also had the Reserve Junior Buck and make it to the FFA Market Goat Champion Drive with his entry.

Marcus RochaRocha also was among a high-achieving group of Coyotes who excelled in projects. His barrel barbecue won a blue ribbon, as did an impressive 12-foot barbecue on a trailer that Joey Freitas built for the Denair Lions Club. Beau Carli’s large orchard float was one of five Best in Show awards for ag mechanics. Other winners were Bryson Prock for his skillful refurbishment of an antique trailer and Galhano for his large entertainment center made of knotty alder. Abi Dirkse earned second place for her wooden potting table.

“For a small school, we are extremely competitive,” said ag teacher Matthew Marshall, who joined the Denair High staff just in time for the 2015 county fair.

This year, Marshall and fellow first-year ag teacher Madison Weigel had much more opportunity to interact with their students to help them imagine and then create their projects. In all, Denair’s FFA members totaled more than 50 entries to the fair, capping a year of renewed enthusiasm and new energy for the school’s ag program. Continue reading “28 Denair High Students Enter Stanislaus County Fair” »

Denair FFA has Impressive Showing at Fair

FairLed by Denair FFA advisors Mr. Bill Douglas and Mrs. Summer Tannehill, over thirty Denair High School FFA members showed animals at the Stanislaus County Fair, July 7-20, 2014, and collected numerous awards. Of the many impressive wins, were Caleb Johnson, who won Reserve Supreme Champion Hog, as well as first place overall in Advanced Swine Showmanship. Holley McDiffett won Champion Yorkshire Hog, Nadia Johnson won Champion All Other Breeds Hog and Eli Johnson won Reserve Champion Crossbred Hog. In Overall Advanced Swine Showmanship, Eli Johnson took fourth place, Nadia Johnson took fifth, and Tristan Haile took eighth. Denair FFA placed first in Chapter Group Swine. Twenty-two students showed swine this year.

FFA Advisor, Mrs. Tannehill said, “It was amazing to see Denair on the FFA Jackets of so many students in the advanced rounds. To have four out of eight exhibitors in the advanced showmanship drive is an amazing feat, as well as having three out of five of the breed champions. All of the exhibitors put countless hours into their projects, and it was great to see everyone helping one another and cheering for each other.”

Denair FFA’s goat exhibitors also did very well. Heidi Johnson won the FFA Junior Champion as well as Reserve Grand Champion Grade Dairy Goat. Janet Garcia placed first for True Novice Meat Goat Showmanship, and Garcia and Victoria Adler won third place for Clean Barn – Meat Goats.

In Sheep, Christopher Galhano won Supreme Champion Breeding Ewe and Reserve Champion Breeding Ewe. He also took third place in Overall Advanced Sheep Showmanship. In Overall Advanced Sheep Showmanship, Caleb Johnson won fifth place and Tristan Haile won seventh. Continue reading “Denair FFA has Impressive Showing at Fair” »