"I thought it actually went fabulous, we had a wonderful group of volunteers who worked endlessly to make sure that everything was done and it really did turn out well," said Callie Dobbins, one of the three Marshall FFA agriculture advisor.
Students tested their skills against other schools in 13 agriculture-related subjects ranging from Entomology to Farm Management.
Many of the written contests were held at Missouri Valley College's Burns Athletic Center, while livestock, soils judging and meats contests were held at the Saline County Fairground.
"It was a smaller contest compared to some of the others but it still gave those kids a really good contest where they were able to see how they ranked with their peers as well as test their knowledge which is ultimately what we are trying to do," said Dobbins.
"A certain percentage have to test each year," said Dobbins, adding that this year 75 percent of their students were required to test. "They have to pass at a certain percentage and that really reflects back on us as a department and us as teachers."
Planning for the contest began last year with the Marshall FFA advisors Jason Price, Callie Dobbins and Randy Plattner, as well as the FFA Alumni Advisory committee.
Weather was nice for the event, following Monday's snowstorm, but the wet ground caused problems for soil judging contest members and the organizers of that event.
The soil "pits" had to be dug by a backhoe to allow the students to look at the soil below the surface. However, melting snow, along with already saturated soils, kept filling up the pits with water, so the judging spot was moved to a hillside at Saline County Fairground. Originally, they were to be dug at a spot east of Marshall.
In all, seven pits were created before finding three that were dry enough for the students to study, according to volunteer Brian McCarthy, who was one of several Saline County USDA staff members helping with the contest.
Dobbins said it was a testament to the quality of the volunteers that she didn't know about those problems until after the contest was over.
"They took care of it, we didn't even know it was a challenge until after it was over," she said. "It was good for us that we had competent people that just took care of it."
Although, it hasn't been decided for sure, Dobbins said the advisory committee will soon regroup and decide whether they will host the contest again next year.
"Ultimately it's their decision, but after talking to everybody I thought it was a great success and I thought it was a worthwhile endeavor, so I think it will happen again," she said.
This contest will help prepare students for upcoming Area and District contests, which take place each spring.
According to unofficial results, several area FFA teams placed well in the contest.
Marshall took first in Floriculture, as team member Lauren Hisle was the high individual and Steph Stark was the fifth place winner, Jessica Browning was sixth overall and Carlyn Crawford was eighth.
Marshall's Michael Harlow was the high individual in Forestry and the team placed second overall. In Livestock, Katie Green of Marshall was the high individual, Eric Underwood was sixth overall, while the team placed second. Marshall's meats team took fifth in the contest.
In Nursery, Marshall's Morgan Schell was fifth place followed closely by Ali Chastine, sixth place; and Abby Smithey in seventh place. Marshall's Ag Mechanics team and Agronomy team both placed fourth overall.
Malta Bend's FFA chapter also did well in the contest as the horse team took first place, with Dawn Gorrell winning high individual. In Livestock, Phillip Wattenbarger placed fifth, helping the MB livestock team take third place overall.
Slater FFA also did well in the contest, taking first place in Meats, with member Liz Owens placing second overall. In Nursery, Madison Miller was the third place winner. Slater's livestock team was fifth overall.
Sweet Springs won the FFA knowledge contest and swept the top five places. In order of placing were: Zachary Weber, Colten Bynum, Lizzie Gieseke, Kelly Griffitt and Heath Snider. Scott Thomas was 5th place in Ag Mechanics. Cole Nowland took second overall in the Forestry contest. The Farm Management and Forestry teams all took fourth place in their respective contests, while the Entomology team placed fifth.
Cole Nowland took second overall in the Forestry contest.
Santa Fe FFA captured second place team honors in the Knowledge contest.
More results from the event can be found at https://www.judgingcard.com/
Contact Marcia Gorrell at