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By David Camphouse
FFA students from Pittsfield, Pleasant Hill and Griggsville-Perry were among 260 high school students from 20 Missouri and Illinois districts to participate in John Wood Community College’s Ag Alumni Association 18th Annual Livestock Judging Invitational on Friday, September 17.
The livestock judging contest took place at the JWCC’s Agricultural Education Center outside Perry.
Last year, due to pandemic restrictions, the competition was held online.
According to JWCC Agriculture Department Chair Mike Tenhouse, educators and students are glad to once again be able to have in-person livestock judging contests.
“That virtual one was more work than the live ones to set up,” Tenhouse said.
Pleasant Hill FFA Advisor Mary Barnes, who brought 10 students to the competition, echoed Tenhouse.
“It was good to be out and be able to see the animals in person,” Barnes said
Pittsfield High School FFA Sponsor Jody Heavner said that her students have eagerly embraced the return to in-person competitions and FFA Career Development Events (CDEs).
“We’ve already done horse judging in Jacksonville,” Heavner said on Monday. “We did livestock last week, and we are doing forestry this week. Thankfully, we’re right back into the swing of things.”
Barnes complimented JWCC on running a highly organized and safe event in the midst of the pandemic.
“I’m pleased with how John Wood ran it,” Barnes said. “They did a great job setting it up, and it was well managed. Even the kids did a fantastic job of staying three feet apart and following the COVID guidelines.”
The Pike County agriculture instructors on hand at the JWCC judging competition agreed that having the JWCC Agricultural Education Center close at hand is of great value to their students.
“It’s always good for these kids to get to see the ag center facilities,” Sheppard said.
“We always appreciate having such a high quality contest so close to home,” Heavner added.
The livestock judging competition was sponsored by ADM Alliance Nutrition and Moorman’s ShowTec and hosted by John Wood Agriculture Alumni Association and Livestock Evaluation Club.
Students judged seven classes of animals during the event, including cattle, swine, sheep and goats.
Livestock judging competitions help students to make decisions, strengthen and improve their power of observation and apply scientific principles of animal growth and development.
At the JWCC competition, contestants as individuals and teams ranked animals based on specific criteria and compared them to those considered ideal as determined by animal industry experts serving as official judges.