Marchand is FFA star farmer

The Omak High School FFA team took third place out of 36 teams at a March 9 livestock judging event at the Okanogan Livestock Market. The group includes (from left) Scott Vejraska, Kady Vejraska, Bailey Covey, Krista Marchand, Cassie Lange, Allison Hale, Kelsey Vejraska, judge Jerry Asmussen and (back) Craig Vejraska.

OMAK — Krista Marchand of the Omak FFA chapter was named as the Star Farmer at the recent district evaluation in Pateros.

The award is based on her supervised agriculture experience program and takes into consideration the project’s size, scope, quality and skills learned.

The winner is selected from those qualifying for the state FFA degree.

Marchand has an equine project that includes purchasing and raising horses, which she trains for popular rodeo events and then sells them.

She targets a niche market of raising and training ponies for children’s mounts.

She averages about 20 head of horses during the year. In addition to marketing horses, she participates in rodeo events and barrel racing, which has added to income for the project.

She is active in the chapter and is a member of the livestock and horse judging teams, and participates in chapter activities. She has been among the top sales persons for the club’s annual apple pie fundraising activity.

Adviser Elaine Lewis said she is very proud of Marchand’s accomplishments. Marchand also is a finalist for the star state farmer award, which will be announced at the state FFA convention in May in Pullman.

Other Omak FFA members earning the state FFA degree include Chandra Shibley, Bailey Covey-Strange, Shantell McCune and Cassidy Gates.

Three Omak FFA members - Gates, McCune and Dawson Sachse — have qualified to submit proficiency applications to the national level. Proficiency is a supervised agriculture experience program.

Members complete an extensive application that outlines a description of the project, skills learned, accomplishments in the proficiency area and experiences that have affected their career goals, resume, supporting pictures, letters of recommendations and extensive financial records supporting the project.

Gates won the greenhouse operations in placement for her work outside of class time managing the school greenhouse and plant sale. McCune earned top honors in entrepreneurship in equine science for training horses and teaching riding lessons to about 15 students per year.

Sachse won in home and community development through his work as a volunteer firefighter and employment with the state Department of Natural Resources as a wild land firefighter.

Applications will be submitted for national judging in August in Indianapolis, Ind.

Other Omak FFA members who placed at state include Covey-Strange, first in veterinary science placement and third in sheep production; Kelsey Vejraska, second in diversified agriculture production and fifth in beef production; Marchand, second in equine science entrepreneurship; Riata Marchant, third in equine science placement, and Shibley, fourth in equine science placement.

The top three in each category will receive plaques and a cash award sponsored from the Washington State FFA Foundation and the National FFA Foundation.

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