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Escalon Ends Successful FFA Speaking Season
Escalon FFA members Cydney Keener, left, Matthew Lima and Mary Adams show the honors they took at the recent Delta-Cal Section Speech Contest at Linden High School. Keener and Lima placed first in their events; Adams received third place honors. Photo Contributed

With two First Place finishes and one Third Place, Escalon FFA definitely did not walk away emptyhanded from the Delta-Cal Section Speech Contest at Linden High School.

The annual contest gives FFA members from 19 chapters in San Joaquin County and the nearby Sierra Foothills the chance to showcase their speaking abilities in a variety of events. It was hosted at Linden in mid-January.

Escalon FFA students Cydney Keener and Mary Adams participated in the Job Interview Contest with Keener tying for first place and Adams taking third. Also, Matthew Lima won first place in the Extemporaneous Public Speaking competition. These three students moved on to the Regional contest on Friday, where they competed against almost 100 students from Yolo County in the North, to Merced County in the South.

The job interview contest simulates the interview process with students creating their résumé, filling out job applications, and participating in a mock job interview. The extemporaneous speaking contest gives students 30 minutes to prepare a four- to six-minute speech on an agricultural topic. Even though the participants may do research prior to the contest, they do not know what their speaking topic will be until their 30 minute preparation period.

Other Escalon FFA members who competed at the Sectional contest were freshmen Colby Reynolds, Alejandra Garcia, and Shelby Strock in Best Informed Greenhand (BIG), and Zach Hearn, who participated in the Creed Speaking Contest. Colby Reynolds also participated in the Creed Contest.

The Best Informed Greenhand Contest tests freshmen’s knowledge of the FFA Handbook while the Creed Speaking Contest requires freshmen to recite the five paragraph FFA creed, written by Erwin Milton Tiffany, from memory. After reciting the creed, participants are asked questions about the creed including how they believe the creed, now 87 years old, is still relevant in the 21st century.

Now that the FFA speaking season is over for Escalon FFA, members will be preparing for the many judging contests and field days held at agricultural colleges throughout California as well for the San Joaquin County fair in June, where dozens of members will show and sell their animal or other agricultural project.