Stuart McCullough is the Vocational Agricultural Instructor at the Los Banos Unified School District. In a celebratory address to his colleagues, McCullough wrote “I am pleased to announce that not only did the Los Banos FFA have an awesome showing at the Central Region FFA Public Speaking Finals at Modesto Junior College, March 10, the Pacheco High School FFA and the Los Banos Junior High School FFA also had awesome results as well.
In the address, McCullough continued to outline the weight of these wins. As the last contest before state finals, the Central Region FFA Public Speaking Finals is traditionally the hardest. the region houses many of the best speaking programs in the state producing numerous state champion and national champion speakers consistently.
The California State Association FFA has six regions that cover the state, and the membership statewide just broke 100,000 members with the central region being the largest of the six. The central region spans from Dos Palos to north of Sacramento and from the western Sierra Nevada to the Delta with 80 FFA programs, over 240 agriculture instructors, and over 26,000 FFA members.
At the upcoming California State Association FFA State Public Speaking Finals there are only 16 spots total available for the central region in the FFA Creed in English and the three divisions of the FFA Creed in Spanish. Out of 16 of those available spots, nine are selected by students from the community of Los Banos and who are enrolled in one of the three FFA programs in the Los Banos Unified School District.
The contests that LBU chapters competed in were the FFA Creed in English, which is a contest that is only open to freshman. The new, and for the first time ever, offered in the State of California FFA Creed in Spanish. This category is open to three age divisions, Discovery Division grades seven, eight, Blue Division grades nine and 10, and the Gold Division grades 11 and 12.
The California Association FFA adopted the Spanish Speaking FFA Creed contest and approved the curricular code last spring allowing for three divisions in order to provide Spanish speaking FFA Members an opportunity to participate in a formal public speaking event. The central region showed up in great numbers in support for the new contest with very well-prepared speakers who were ready to compete.
The students from Los Banos High School FFA were coached by Stuart McCullough, Pacheco High School FFA by Maria Cozens, and the Los Banos Junior High School FFA by Adam Jacobo.