The Gustine FFA chapter held its 81st annual awards banquet on Tuesday, May 21, at the Al Goman Community Center. This event recognizes FFA members for various achievements throughout the school year. A number of scholarships were also presented during the evening.

Tyler Borba and Joseph Lopes were recipients of the Star Greenhand award, which recognizes each of them as the freshman members with the most participation in chapter activities.

The Star Chapter Farmer honor, which is presented to the most involved sophomore member, was awarded to Clayton Alamo.

Russell Hazan received the Honorary Chapter Degree in recognition of his support of the Gustine FFA Chapter.

Nicole Moitozo was presented the Workhorse Award for her unwavering dedication to Gustine FFA during her outstanding high school career.

Taylor Botello was recognized as the 2018-2019 Gustine FFA Chapter Sweetheart.  

The top four freshman point winners, who receive a trip to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis next fall, included Joseph Lopes, Tyler Borba, Daniel Gomes and Savanna Barcellos.

The six at-large point winners, who will also be awarded with a trip to National Convention, included Megan Azevedo, Aubrie Hazan, Madison Woods, Nicholas Alamo, Roxanna Araiza and Patrick Broderick.

The current Ag Booster officer team was recognized and thanked for all of their dedication to the students of Gustine FFA. Trenton Cordeiro was introduced as the 2019-20 Ag Booster treasurer.  

Many members were awarded scholarships during the ceremony. They were as follows:

• Ann Amarante Scholarship: Selina Lopes

• Heritage Foundation Scholarship: Nicole Moitozo, Jillian Nunes

• Farm Bureau Scholarship: Jillian Nunes

• Merced Agribusiness  Committee Scholarship: Jillian Nunes, Selina Lopes

• Hilmar Cheese Scholarship: Taylor Botelho, Nicole Moitozo

• California FFA scholarship: Nicole Moitozo

• State Star Ag Placement Scholarship: Darren Borba

• Heritage Presentation Team Scholarship: Nicole Moitozo, Selina Lopes, Patrick Broderick, Aubrie Hazan

• CCID Scholarship: Nicole Moitozo

• Cody Athenian Scholarship: Selina Lopes

• Robert Pires Foundation Scholarship: Selina Lopes, Nicole Moitozo

• Ag Boosters Scholarship: Ashley Clay, Nicole Moitozo

• Frank Rico Ag Business Scholarship: Nicole Moitozo, Selina Lopes

• Valley Tractor Puller’s Association Scholarship: Damien Rangel

• 1200 Point Scholarship: Aubrie Hazan, Patrick Broderick, Lalanie Brace, Selina Lopes, Madison Woods, Janai Navarro, Savanna Barcellos, Nicole Moitozo, Jacob Salsa, Nicholas Alamo, David Wilson, Hailey Medeiros, Hunter Silva, Maddison Gomez, Daniel Gomez, Amanda Oliveira, Joseph Lopes, Kaitlyn Davis, Tyler Borba

The evening concluded with installation of the 2019-20 officers. The officer team includes Patrick Broderick, president; Aubrie Hazan, vice president; Madison Woods, secretary; Megan Azevedo, treasurer; Nicholas Alamo, reporter; Amanda Oliveira, sentinel; and Stacy Oliveira, historian.  

Following the FFA banquet, Gustine FFA members continued to have fun and give back to their community. Twenty of the most active members went to a Giants game on the May 23. On Friday, May 24, members placed crosses on the Hills Ferry Cemetery graves of deceased military veterans in observance of Memorial Day. As the school year ends, members are getting ready to exhibit animals at Merced Fair and work to prepare for the upcoming 35th annual tractor pull on July 3.

(Submitted by Nicholas Alamo, Gustine FFA Chapter Reporter)