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Montadale sheep project only one in country

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POSTED February 24, 2012 8:53 p.m.

Manteca Unified Ag teacher Jaime Sanchez and his group of five FFA students made the school district mighty proud last year.

They brought home “the Super Bowl of the sheep industry” from the national competition held in Sedalia, Missouri.

At the Board of Education meeting in June, he proudly announced, “MUSD’s Montadale Show Team had an outstanding consignment and was very successful in the show and sale.”

As he made the announcement at the podium, he was joined by the five students who took part in the national competition and came home with a handful of awards and ribbons that they won. But the pièce de résistance among the honors they earned was the Dean Davison Trophy which is annually awarded to “the exhibit with the cleanest area.”

Sanchez further pointed out the significance of this award by saying, “This is the first time any youth organization has received that trophy. That’s a big honor (because) it’s a lot of work” keeping the exhibit area clean.

The five FFA students in the Montadale project who brought the honor to the school district were Ashley Owensby, Adrianna Inguanzo, and Jessica Ray, all of Sierra High; Jenica Reagan of Lathrop High, and Shari McCallister of East Union.

“They accomplished something that was unheard of,” a proud Sanchez told school district officials.

The Montadale Sheep Project of the school district’s School Farm is unique in that it’s the only one of its kind throughout the United States. The project consists of about three-dozen head of Montadale ewes and a pair of Montadale rams.

Students involved in this project are allowed to have ownership of the sheep which they can show at various livestock expositions and shows as well as at the San Joaquin County Fair.

Becoming part of the Montadale program is not easy. There is an application and interview process that interested students have to undergo. That only gets their foot in the door. Once they’re in, they have to become active members of the project – helping with the daily management and general management of the program.

The school district is able to offer this unique program with the help of the Montadale Sheep Breeders Association.

— Rose Albano Risso
city editor

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