Ardour for agriculture bolsters Reynoso’s FFA involvement | Neighborhood

Ardour for agriculture bolsters Reynoso’s FFA involvement | Neighborhood

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Arely Reynoso is a sophomore at Orestimba High School and a proud second year Newman FFA member. As a freshman she attended her ag class, went to some chapter meetings and attended some events. From that point, she knew she wanted to be more involved this year. Actually, Reynoso said, the serious conversation with her father last year about the world of agriculture, lead to her ultimate decision. “Life as a daughter of a farmer is not easy,” she shared. His priority has to be his crops, the land, the irrigation, all the elements the business requires. That means there are times when he is not at home; he misses family time. “Farmers work hard to provide for their families and to provide food for people to eat,” Reynoso pointed out.

She decided it was time for her to put more effort into her FFA participation. She set her mind to try new things. That included showing a lamb for the first time.

Reynoso grew up around farm animals but she has never raised one or shown one in the fair circuit. The lambs arrived to the OHS school farm in January. Always an exciting day regardless if it’s your first time or fourth. Reynoso knew it would take time for her lamb to acclimate to her new accommodations and to her owner. The two would need to develop trust between them. Reynoso feeds her lamb twice a day, which means she is at the farm by 6:45 a.m. everyday and again in the evening. She works with her lamb, cleans her pen and sits with her every evening. The two bonded pretty quickly. Her lamb knows her, she says, as evident with the greeting she receives as she approaches the pen.

The Stanislaus Fair is several months away but already Reynoso has experienced the support of the lamb group. FFA advisor Stacey Costillo has offered tremendous help she said and the older members share their experience with the newer members. “We’re a big family,” she explained.

In addition to raising a lamb, the motivated young aggie is building her leadership skills.

FFA offers a regional conference for sophomores to learn communication skills, work on personal growth and bring back ideas to their chapters. The experience was another eye-opener for Reynoso who returned jazzed with ideas and enthusiasm. 

One is her idea for an SAE project- producing a video highlighting the message of the hard work of farmers. “Some people think farmers just walk around their fields or orchards, or drive trucks or tractors around. They don’t know what farmers actually do,” Reynoso shared. Her goal is to interview farmers and create a video that could be approved for viewing in classrooms. “This is just an idea right now, it’s only a few days old,” she pointed out. But, she’s got a goal, and she’s not afraid to speak out. The ag industry needs advocates of all ages.

“I love being with the animals and in the orchard or field. I have a passion for ag and love learning about it,” the excited member expressed. She looks forward to seeing how her story continues to grow.



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