Madera FFA’s all-girl student veterinary science team won first place at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana and were named national champions.
Students Elena Robles, Kassandra Hernandez, Mercedes Gonzalez, and Marylyn Bautista all received national champion medals and a plaque on October 27. The team was coached by Instructor Kristin Sheehan. Over 40 teams from the U.S. and Puerto Rico competed in the National competition.
The top 22 teams qualified for the live event on October 26, 2021. This event consisted of veterinary skill practicums and a team presentation on the role of telemedicine in the veterinary industry. Elena Robles was 1st high individual overall and high individual in the veterinary knowledge test. Kassandra Hernandez was 2nd high individual overall and Mercedes Gonzalez was the 3rd high individual overall. Mercedes also received recognition for 1st place in the identification component. All four ladies received gold recognition for their performance. This is the highest recognition level.
Preparing for the competition included long hours of practice, zoom sessions and fundraising by offering dog grooming services. Team members also conducted interviews with veterinarians Dr. Monica Dougherty DVM of Madera Veterinary Center and Dr. Tara Urbano DVM of UC Davis to help prepare them for the competition.