2021 State Range Judging Contest held in Cherry County | TheFencePost.com

2021 State Range Judging Contest held in Cherry County

Teams from West Holt take top honors in the Senior while St. Paul led in the Junior Division

VALENTINE, Neb. — Two hundred and ninety-seven high school students and teachers from 42 schools from across Nebraska visited Cherry County this fall to test their knowledge of rangeland management during the 66th Annual Nebraska State Range Judging Contest.

Each fall, students enrolled in agriculture or natural resources classes compete for top honors in range judging contests. Contestants compete as individuals and as teams in either the Junior or Senior Division. Six area contests are held in mid to late September in addition to the state contest. The contests are sponsored by the Nebraska Section Society for Range Management. Co-sponsors include Nebraska Extension, Natural Resources Districts, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Volunteers from these and other natural resource agencies and groups assist local committees with organizing and conducting the contests. Over the last 10 years, attendance at area contests has averaged 1,100 students.


Range Judging Contests test the participants’ skills and knowledge of plant identification, ecological site identification and composition, rangeland conservation and grazing management. While studying for range judging competitions, students learn about one of Nebraska’s major land uses. Rangelands cover nearly 50% of Nebraska and approximately 60% of the United States. Even if these young contest participants do not pursue a career in rangeland or natural resource management, they will gain an understanding of a major natural resource that will be remembered throughout their lifetimes.

The Junior Division included 142 individuals and 38 teams. Cody Burson from Burwell High School took first place individual honors in the Junior Division. Adam Knapp, Ord, placed second; Bobbi Guggenmos, Wheeler Central, placed third; and Cody Kahl, Chadron, placed fourth. Members of the first-place junior team from St. Paul are Sam Wells, Abby Hirschman, Gracie Ackles and Sidney Gawrych. Members of the second-place junior team from Ord are Adam Knapp, Will Skibinski, Riley Ladwig and Ethan Wadas. Members of the third-place junior team from Sargent are Melissa Slagle, Tallin Schauda, Sarah Riddle and Grant Ottun. Members of the fourth-place junior team from Stuart are Gracie Kaup, Addie Ketteler, Hunter Tubbs and Will Paxton.

The Senior Division included 127 individuals and 36 teams. Lucas Olson from West Holt High School took first place individual honors in the Senior Division. Luke Kahl, Chadron, placed second; Sadie Jarecke, West Holt, and Ryan Gabriel, Ord, placed third; and Garett Schneider, Sargent, placed fourth. Members of the first-place senior team from West Holt are Lucas Olson, Sadie Jarecke, Isaac Pistulka and EmiLee Walnofer. Members of the second place Ord team are Ryan Gabriel, Ryder Reineke, Ashton Key and Makayla Wray. The third place Burwell team includes Cooper Philips, Ethan Joy, Devin Konicek and Hayes Jensen. Members of the fourth-place senior team from St. Paul are Nick Busse, Kaleb Baker, Madison Hirschman and Ben Feeken.

Twenty-eight adults also participated in the contest. Dennis Mottl, ag-ed instructor from Palmer High School placed first in the adult competition. Additional contest information is available on the Nebraska Section, SRM website, http://www.nesrm.org/RangeJudging.html.


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