2017-10-19 / Inside Education

Coming together

Local FFA, businesses help Santa Rosa victims
Sports/Education Editor

Troy Gallaway of Gallaway Feed and Supply is shown with his dog, Daisy, next to a package of supplies intended for use by those affected by Santa Rosa fires. 
Submitted photo Troy Gallaway of Gallaway Feed and Supply is shown with his dog, Daisy, next to a package of supplies intended for use by those affected by Santa Rosa fires. Submitted photo When times get tough, it’s always nice to have someone in your corner.

Buz Arnold, agricultural and FFA advisor at Mariposa County High School, knows that better than anyone.

“Within the FFA family across the state, we always try to help out other chapters in need and other ag teachers in need,” Arnold said. “It’s a brotherhood that ag teachers have. ... We know all kinds of folks. We know the ag teachers across the state well and we stick together.”

Arnold was contacted by many of his FFA associates from across the state and was offered assistance when the Detwiler Fire broke out this summer in Mariposa County.

Now that Santa Rosa is experiencing its own fire nightmare, Arnold and his FFA counterparts across the state are stepping up to help deliver needed supplies to the people affected.

“It’s one of those things of just simply giving back,” Arnold said. “It’s what you do.”

Santa Rosa has been in the national news because it is experiencing a remarkably intense wildfire, one which has left a number of people dead.

The people who have been affected due to loss of home and possessions are in need of canned food, non-perishables, toiletries, pet food and many daily essentials.

The dire situation of the people of Santa Rosa led to an idea springing up within the FFA ranks across Central California.

“The idea started as a challenge for our Merced Mariposa Section FFA Chapters to fill a gooseneck trailer of supplies for Santa Rosa FFA fire victims at our Opening and Closing Contest on Wednesday,” Arnold said.

Arnold received the “challenge” through an email last Tuesday from Natalie Borba, Atwater High School agriculture instructor/FFA advisor.

Arnold quickly sprung into action, helping to spread word of the efforts to support Santa Rosa. He informed MCHS students and staff about the undertaking.

MCHS students and staff responded by donating canned food, cleaning supplies, clothes and more.

Others in the community heard about the efforts.

It didn’t take long for Foster Ace Hardware to have a pickup load of supplies and Gallaway Feed to pledge a pallet of mixed feed. The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office dropped off feed and supply bags as well.

Arnold gathered the items on his way to Gustine for the FFA Opening/Closing Contest.

“All told between the MCHS students, staff and donations from our generous community, I delivered a truck and trailer loaded with supplies to Gustine to load on a trailer headed to Santa Rosa,” Arnold said.

Late last week, the Atwater High School FFA was sorting and boxing the supplies for the victims and was set to deliver the items to Santa Rosa’s FFA group as soon as possible.

The efforts of the Merced Mariposa FFA Section to support Santa Rosa “stretched across the nation,” Arnold said.

Borba received a phone call from Ben Meyers, a National FFA Representative for the Western States, because he was being asked how to get in touch with the Merced Mariposa Section to get supplies to FFA Members in Santa Rosa.

It goes to show that sometimes, terrible circumstances bring out the best in people, and for the FFA “family,” that is certainly true.

Opening/closing teams do well

Mariposa FFA opening/closing teams competed at Gustine High School on Oct. 11. All seven Greenhand teams earned gold as well as the Chapter Officer Team winning a gold award.

“It’s the freshman’s first experience at a major FFA event,” said Arnold.

The following MCHS students were outstanding officers:

President: Chad Brossard; Katherine Kramer Davis; Noe Patterson.

Vice President: Cali Butler; Kannon Gibson; Kolton Olson.

Secretary: Bryanna Dormer; Trevor Mc- Clard; Jacob Emmons.

Reporter: Beau Palmer.

Sentinel: Jack Bertram; Raquel Robinson.

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