New California FFA Officers
May 21, 2020
First Time Ever, FFA Officers Elected On-line
By Tim Hammerich, with the Ag Information Network of the West
This year for the first time, the California State FFA Officers were elected online. The 2020-2021 California FFA President is Dean Hill from Templeton FFA in San Luis Obispo County.
“I'm a fourth generation farmer. I joined FFA simply because my brother did it and it seemed interesting. And then the more I got invested into it, the more I kind of kept going and got excited and started looking forward to different events. And one thing led to another, and here I am today,” said Hill.
Dean’s FFA experiences may have just recently led him to state office, but agricultural leadership runs in the family.
“My grandpa, he lives up in Chico and he works on an almond orchard. And then my father works for Valent USA. That's a chemical company and he's always been really big and into entomology. He got his PhD from Purdue. Yeah, he's been working with chemicals and out on the field for a lot of it. Now I'm just kind of taken after him and also my grandpa, learning all different kinds of things and it's just really fascinating to me,” he said.
Despite current travel restrictions, Dean says he and the rest of the team are looking forward to the challenge of creating new ways to engage FFA members this year.
After his year of service to the youth agricultural leadership organization, he plans to attend Cal Poly to pursue a degree in Ag Systems Management.
His FFA Advisors are Ms. Brandi Bognuda, Mr. Chris Hildebrand, Ms. Sophie Johnston, and Mr. Russell Zimmerman.
Other 2020-2021 Elected Officers
Emma Thorpe, a student at El Capitan High School in San Diego County, was elected State Vice President. Thorpe served as the Southern Region President, attended the Sacramento Leadership Experience, served on the State Nominating Committee, took part in the National FFA Convention and attended the Washington Leadership Conference. Thorpe’s supervised agricultural experience has been in the area of agriscience research.
Her FFA Advisors are Ms. Brenda Davis-Landini, Mr. Don Dyer, Ms. Jesse Meade and Ms. April Perez.
Mia Arisman, a student at Galt High School in Sacramento County, was elected State Secretary. Arisman was a member of the State Champion Best Informed Greenhand Team, was a National Semi-Finalist in Agricultural Issues, participated in the Parliamentary Procedure team, attended the Sacramento Leadership Experience and served as the Central Region Vice President. Arisman has raised market hogs for the county fair and is managing the Warrior Grown small animal cooperative. Her FFA Advisors are Ms. Eileen Desmond, Ms. Jessica Hamilton, Ms. Holly Hockett, Ms. Cheryl Reece, Mr. Derek Silva and Mr. Isaac Valencia.
Reese Gonzalves, a student at Modesto High School in Stanislaus County, was elected State Treasurer. Gonzalves served as the Central Region President, was a member of the State FFA Executive Committee, participated in the Sacramento Leadership Experience, attended the National Convention and served as an Ambassador with the California Almond Alliance. Gonzalves manages a beef cattle production project.
Her FFA Advisors are Mr. Scott Layne, Ms. Julie Schellhase and Ms. Victoria Vanlieshout.
Taylor Sollecito, a student at Salinas High School in Salinas County, was elected State Reporter. Sollecito was the Chapter FFA President and Vice President, attended the Sacramento Leadership Experience, served as a committee chair at the State FFA Leadership Conference and was the Monterey Bay Section President. She raised market livestock that she showed at the local fairs.
Taylor’s FFA Advisors are Mr. Chris Evans and Ms. Rachel Martinez.
Maico Ortiz, a student at Chico State University and a graduate of Galt High School, was elected State Sentinel. Ortiz served as the Central Region Vice President, facilitated Greenhand Leadership Conferences, was a sub-committee chair at the State Leadership Conference, was a member of the State Champion Agricultural Issues team and served as the Chapter FFA President. Ortiz’s supervised experience included raising market livestock, managing the Warrior Grown small animal cooperative, and working at Cattleman’s Livestock Market.
His FFA Advisors are Ms. Eileen Desmond, Ms. Jessica Hamilton, Ms. Holly Hockett, Ms. Cheryl Reece, Mr. Derek Silva and Mr. Isaac Valencia.