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Gila Ridge FFA students named State Proficiency Winners

Gila Ridge High School Agriculture students were named State Proficiency award winners.

Hailey Clinger, for Fruit Production, and Kayla Reddy, for Environmental Science and Natural Resources, won the Agricultural Proficiency Award, which honors Future Farmers of America (FFA) members who, through their supervised agricultural experiences (SAE’s), have developed specialized skills that they can apply toward their future careers. Clinger

Clinger, who is a junior at Gila Ridge, manages five acres of citrus land and also runs a farmer’s market fruit stand. She grows and sells lemons, multiple varieties of grapefruit, tangelos, multiple varieties of oranges, and tangerines.

"Harvesting is a major step and priority in my business because I don't want to pick fruits that have something wrong with them,” said Clinger. “Examples of defects I look for are bruising, rotting, animal or insect punctures, or general deformities.”

Reddy, a Gila Ridge senior, started a recycling initiative where she manages a recycle bin in the FFA classroom. She promotes recycling on and off campus while teaching her fellow students about recycling. Her lessons to her peers include: what is and is not a recyclable object, how to properly recycle, and why it is important. Reddy

"Whenever the recycle bags get full, I go into the Ag room after class, tie the bag up, and put in a new bag,” said Reddy. “I try to do this weekly, as it prevents the bags from getting too full or too heavy and allows me to get to and remove any trash quickly.”

James Kuzniak