09-19-18 FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Event Held in New Raymer

FFA range judging places the students in the field to make real-life judgments about the past grazing management and best management practices to recommend for range improvement. Courtesy of Emmet Jordan

FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Event Held in New Raymer

Written and submitted by: Ben Berlinger, Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management Youth Activities Chair

The Northeast Colorado Regional FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Career Development Exercise (CDE) was held on September 17 at the Prairie School near New Raymer. The event was hosted by the Prairie FFA Chapter. Sixty-three students participated in the event representing nine FFA chapters. These included Prairie, Holyoke, Revere/Sedgwick, Weld Central, Akron, Idalia, Peetz, Wiggins, and Yuma FFA Chapters. Sponsors for this youth educational event included the West Greeley Conservation District, the Colorado State Land Board, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Their funding supports the purchasing of awards, ribbons, and plaques, and providing refreshments and lunch for the students and their Ag teachers.

The team results were as follows: Gold went to the Prairie FFA Chapter, Silver was awarded to the Holyoke FFA Chapter, and Bronze was awarded to the Akron FFA Chapter. Gold, silver, and bronze ribbons were presented to the top scoring individuals.

Walter Jordan, Prairie FFA, receives his award from the CO Section SRM for high score on the site judging and plant identification. Presenting were (l-r) Josh Saunders, Past President, and Ben Berlinger, Youth Activities Chair. Courtesy of Emmet Jordan

The Colorado Section Society for Range Management (CSSRM) presented plaques at the award ceremony. CSSRM recognizes high scoring individuals for combined scores on site judging and plant identification, as well as the high individual score on the plant identification. Walter Jordan, Prairie FFA, was honored with the high score for combined site judging and plant identification. Trent Huffman, Holyoke FFA, received high score on plant identification.

Trent Huffman, Holyoke FFA, receives his CO Section SRM award for achieving the high score on plant identification. Courtesy of Emmet Jordan

FFA range judging involves the students in judging the condition of two ecological sites. Several attributes are determined by the students including ecological site name, plant composition, range condition class, vegetation basal and litter cover, suggested stocking rate, apparent rangeland trend, and recommended best management practices. In addition, the students must identify the common names of 30 rangeland plants and designate important attributes about each plant.

Plant ID judging at Regional Contests involves identifying the common names of 30 range plants along with important characteristics of each plant. Courtesy of Emmet Jordan

More FFA range judging events will be held this fall. The Southeast Colorado Regional contest will be held on September 26 at the Rocky Ford fairgrounds. This event is being hosted by the Fowler and Rocky Ford FFA Chapters. The state event is scheduled for October 3. It will be held on the campus of Northeast Junior College in Sterling, with the hosting chapters being Lone Star and Merino FFA.

Individuals wanting more information or desiring to assist with any of these exciting and education youth events may contact Ben Berlinger, CSSRM Youth Activities Chair, at 719-469-3895 or bberling@bresnan.net.

Exclusive video including interviews & the Awards Ceremony is available too, courtesy of The BARN – https://livestream.com/BarnMedia/events/8376537