CURTIS — A college campus in Curtis was the site recently of academic contests for nearly 500 FFA members from 34 high schools in two FFA districts.
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture hosted in-person and virtual Career Development Events for FFA Districts 9 and 11, said Doug Smith, NCTA’s associate professor of animal science and agriculture education.
District 11 had CDE’s in livestock evaluation, agriscience, and natural resources for 222 FFA students on 22 teams from 17 high schools in southwest Nebraska, Smith said.
The next day District 9 contests were in livestock evaluation, farm business management and agronomy.
The FFA members rotated through the contest with their individual chapters assigned to separate locations designed with COVID-19 precautions in place to include social distancing and required facial masks to be worn inside buildings.
“We appreciate all of Dr. Smith’s work on scheduling our schools to follow all of the health guidelines,” Armstrong said. “I feel our contests ran smoothly throughout the day.”
The logistics and task of designing in-person contests for hundreds of FFA students during a pandemic was a unique challenge. NCTA coordinated all of components for in-person and virtual Livestock Judging for both days.
Agriscience and Natural Resources contests on Thursday were organized by the District 11 agricultural education teachers and were held in large classrooms of the Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center.
Agriscience is for freshmen only, and includes a written exam plus a practicum in the topic area of plant systems.
The contest drew 64 individuals from 19 teams.
Agriscience Top 5 teams:
1. Bertrand - Loomis FFA.
2. Maywood FFA.
3. Southwest FFA.
4. Imperial FFA and Wauneta-Palisade FFA (tied).
Agriscience Top 10 individuals:
1. Gracianne Wilcox, BerMis.
2. Carly Stewart, BerMis.
3. Chloe Anderson, BerMis.
4. Haydn Farr, Maywood.
5. Bella Maddox, Imperial.
6. Jeremiah Ingison, Maywood.
7. Nathan Rippe, Southwest.
8. Stella Heapy, Medicine Valley.
9. Chase Bryant, Wauneta-Palisade.
10. Gage Gerlach, Maywood.
Natural Resources had 141 individuals from 41 teams in the topic focuses on soil and wildlife.
Natural Resources Top 5 teams:
1. Cambridge FFA.
2. BerMis FFA.
3. Hayes Center FFA.
4. Southwest FFA.
5. Wauneta-Palisade FFA.
Natural Resources Top 10 individuals:
1. Autumn Deterding, Cambridge.
2. Megan TenBensel, Cambridge.
3. Alexis Richmond, Imperial.
4. Johanna Ford, BerMis.
5. Jordyn Cross, Cambridge.
6. Hunter Ummel, Cambridge.
7. Drake Hermanson, BerMis.
8. Tucker Gillespie, McCook.
9. Jordan Hilmer, BerMis.
10. Leah Schutz, BerMis.
Livestock Judging was conducted at the indoor arena of the Everett Stencil Livestock Teaching Center. With the assistance of the NCTA Livestock Judging Team, all six classes of livestock were recorded so the virtual contest could occur in addition to in-person presence.
Assisting with handling livestock, taking oral reasons and tabulations were students from NCTA’s animal science and agricultural education courses.
An online contest, resource and scoring system for FFA Career Development Event and 4-H judging contests handles the logistics of scanning and processing the contest results for various contests through judgingcard.com, explained Dr. Smith.
“It was a great day for the kids to be on campus and to participate in some FFA contests, in a still COVID-friendly way,” Smith said, of the back-to-back daylong events.
Partners across the state helped in providing livestock for the judging contest, which included feedlot cattle, breeding heifers, breeding and market sheep, swine, and goats. The animals came from a commercial feed yard, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, NCTA and producers from central and southwest Nebraska.
Livestock judging for junior high, junior division, senior division:
Junior High Top 3 of 8 Teams:
1. Imperial FFA.
2. McCook FFA.
3. Southern Valley FFA.
Jr. High Top 5 of 46 Students:
1. Tayley Becker, Southern Valley.
2. Allie Stitt, McCook.
3. Tristan Jablonski, Imperial.
4. Jamie Gittlein, Imperial; Odessa Zadina, Imperial (tied).
Juniors Top 5 of 16 Teams:
1. Southwest FFA.
2. Maywood FFA.
3. Cambridge FFA.
4. McCook FFA.
5. Cozad FFA.
Juniors Top 12 of 107 Students:
1. Nathan Rippe, Southwest.
2. Haydn Farr, Maywood.
3. Brenna Deterding, Cambridge.
4. Kamden Bose, Southern Valley.
5. Grace Schimmels, Eustis-Farnam.
6. Kooper Pohl, Cozad.
7. Jeremiah Ingison, Maywood.
8. Trenton Custard, Southwest.
9. Conner Snyder, McCook.
10. Makayla Pate, McCook.
11. Hayden Russman, Cozad.
12. Madison Woehrle, Eustis-Farnam.
Senior Division, Top 3 of 14 Teams: