State-wide ag contest hosted by SCCC

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Students rest between evaluations at Missouri Valley College Wednesday March 11. Saline County Career Center hosted the Annual Marshall FFA Alumni Ag Contest which drew 2,300 pre-enrolled students from Missouri.

Roughly five years ago, Saline County Career Center advisors discussed hosting a contest as part of agriculture end-of-course evaluations. Yesterday, that idea flourished.

With a record 2,300 students pre-enrolled for the Annual Marshall FFA Alumni Ag Contest, sites around town facilitated FFA students as they displayed their knowledge to judges. Their reward is passing their TSA (Technical Skill Assessments) or, if scored high enough, advancement to the 2015 State FFA Convention April 16-17.

While considering the magnitude of a Missouri-wide agriculture contest, SCCC advisors Callie Dobbins, Randy Plattner and Paige Brock concluded the merit of such learning outcomes could not be overlooked. The contest hosts a number of different agriculture categories, each giving students a chance to harness their speciality.

"We have various different contests from meat ID to horses to entomology, to soils, to forestry," said Director of Saline County Career Center Derek Lark.

Students competed in individual, team or class events, and were judged based on their tiered grasp of specific curriculum areas.

Though beneficial to the overculture of rural students, FFA is a prime opportunity for leadership amidst youth of all kind, according to Lark.

"Often FFA is traditionally known for those that live on a farm, but that's not the case anymore. Not by any means," Lark said. "We have kids that have never been on a farm, but they want to pursue a field that is tied to agriculture, and agriculture is just so broad and covers so many spectrums."

The contest is made possible by the generous support of Missouri Valley College and the alumni of SCCC agriculture program, who assist in numerous facets of event preparation.

"[The contest] is a good opportunity to host people here in our community, share pride of the Marshall FFA program and to showcase Missouri Valley College," Lark said.

Contest results may be accessed at www.judgingcard.com/Results.

Contact Kayla Nilges at knilges@marshallnews.com

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