FFA rangeland judgers compete in Burlington | TheFencePost.com

FFA rangeland judgers compete in Burlington

Ben Berlinger
Society for Range Management, Youth Activities Chair
Rock surrounded by a sea of grass overlooking a coulee of trees and grasslands.
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Winning high schools:

Pritchett FFA Chapter / 1st Place Gold Team

Burlington FFA Chapter / 2nd Place Gold Team

Lonestar FFA Chapter / 3rd Place Silver Team

Fowler FFA Chapter / 4th Place Silver Team

Kim FFA Chapter / 5th Place Bronze Team

Hoehne FFA Chapter / 6th Place Bronze Team.

Beginning rangeland judging class placements:

First / Arickaree FFA Chapter

Second / New Raymer FFA Chapter

Third / Lonestar FFA Chapter

FFA students and their advisors from high schools across eastern Colorado arrived at the Morgan Community College community building to compete in a rangeland plant identification exercise and judge the soundness of the rangeland. The Oct. 5 state-level competition attracted 230 students representing 24 FFA chapters to Burlington, Colo. from across the state.

Team awards and top scoring individuals were recognized at the awards ceremony at the end of the competition. The Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management sponsored the individual honors, with additional support from 19 the conservation districts across eastern Colorado and local businesses.

The Colorado Section Society for Range Management individual awards were presented to McCrae Rider of the Burlington FFA chapter had the highest score on the combined site judging and plant identification at 79 percent. Rider earned a $200 from the Colorado Section of the Society of Range Management for his top mark.

Cody Wilson of Pritchett FFA took second place honors with his combined score of 73 percent correct. Micah Crane, also of the Pritchett chapter, was recognized as the top individual for the plant identification part of the contest, correctly identifying 96 percent of the50 rangeland plants and characteristics.

The FFA rangeland judging contest is divided into two parts. The native plant identification has students name rangeland plants common to eastern Colorado, and rate important plant characteristics including life span, grazing response and palatability for cattle.

The second part of the contest takes place in the field and requires the students to judge the condition of two different rangeland sites. Students must determine the plant composition of each site, the range condition compared to the reference plant community, the suggested stocking rate and range trend. Finally, based on their evaluation of the existing plant community, the students choose the appropriate management practice — or suite of practices — that would be recommended to the land owner for improvement of the rangeland resource and livestock performance. ❖

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