Wheaton FFA places 1st in soils, poultry competitions

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Exeter, Purdy, Southwest FFAs attend Crowder College Aggie Day

Wheaton's FFA club placed No. 1 in the soils and poultry team competitions at the 46th annual Crowder College Aggie Day on Thursday.

"We evaluated the soil and the layout of the land, and we determined if it would be good for building a basement, having a dwelling there -- whether it's going to be hazardous for cropping or if you can put a pond there," said Kim Day, Wheaton FFA vice president, who placed first out of 151 in the soils individual competition. "So, we just judged the three pits and determined what they could hold."

The four-member team also had to determine if the soil had erosion, said Vanessa Cook, Wheaton FFA reporter who placed seventh individually.

"The competition was very nerve racking," Cook said. "It was really quiet, which made it more nerve racking. It was a very pleasant atmosphere as far as everybody that was there. Everybody took their time. Everybody was confident."

The other team members were Justin Beck and Rodney Cook, who placed third and 13th, respectively. The competition had 41 teams.

The poultry contest had 40 teams. Kayla Vang, Sean Lowry, Donald Jones, Noah Harmon, Marius Lupescu and Joshua Bowling placed first, second, fourth, fifth, 11th and 21st, respectively, out of 151 in the individual competition.

The Aggie Day held 19 contests that were called career development events. Wheaton also competed in agronomy, dairy foods, entomology, floriculture, knowledge and meat contests.

Kayla Mason, Wheaton FFA president, said she judged meats. The five-member team placed seventh out of 41 teams.

"You have to ID 40 meat plates," Mason said. "Then, you have to do four placing classes where you judge meats on their best quality. Then, you have to take a test over the general knowledge of meat and work a formulation problem."

The different types of meat were pork loins, T-Bones, New York strips and beef loins.

The team had a different rotation, said Kelly Alvarado, Wheaton FFA sentinel who placed higher than her other team members at ninth individually.

"We had to be separate from each team member," Alvarado said. "I identified meats first before going on to judging the four classes of meats. We had to answer a set of questions about one class, which was a beef loin roast. After doing that, I had to take an exam, which consisted of 20 questions, and we had a formulation where we had to solve a problem."

She said she could talk to anybody at Aggie Day.

"It was like a sense of community, I guess," Alvarado said. "You just knew that whoever you talked to would be friendly because they are experiencing the same thing you are.

"FFA has been one of the biggest parts of my life. It is something that I love. It's kind of a fun learning experience. I get to be competitive. I know my teammates are striving to reach state. It's a big goal for us."

In the agronomy competition, the four-member team identified 50 seeds and 50 plants, and it placed 12th out of 23 teams, said Skyler Scates, Wheaton FFA member who placed 32nd out of 76 individually.

"We have to judge seed plates, like to find defects of them," Scates said. "We had to take a 100-question test over general knowledge. We also had to judge hay."

Exeter, Purdy and Southwest school districts sent FFA members to Aggie Day. Purdy placed fourth, sixth, eighth, ninth, 13th, 13th and 15th, respectively, in the livestock, horses, knowledge, dairy foods, dairy cattle, meat and soils contests. Mikey Schad, Purdy FFA, placed fourth out of 106 individually in knowledge contest. Southwest placed 13th and 16th, respectively, in the poultry and horses competitions.

More than 2,300 high school FFA students, advisors and volunteers attended the event.

The FFA district competitions were Saturday, Monday and Tuesday at Missouri State University in Springfield. The state competitions are April 16-17 during the Missouri State FFA Convention in Columbia.

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