FFA TEAMS PREPARE FOR COMPETITION SEASON
This year there are 37 students competing in 5 different judging teams this spring. Nazareth FFA will be attending judging contests at WTAMU, Clarendon College, Valley ISD, Texas Tech, and South Plains College over the next 3 weeks. Nazareth FFA can have an unlimited number of teams compete at the invitational contests; however, they can only have 1 team representing Nazareth FFA at the state qualifying contests which will happen at different times throughout the week of April 12th. During judging season, all schools must compete in their respected area contest, and the top 5 teams or top 15% of the teams competing advance to the state contest. Nazareth is in area 1 and competes against every school that has an agriculture education program from Lubbock Cooper, to Frenship, to the very top of Texas. All 1A to 6A schools compete together for a state spot. A summary of each event is listed below.
Team consisting of three members participate in a simulated news conference, then use the information collected to complete practical problems including writing a news story and press release, preparing a radio broadcast, creating a three-page Web site, and developing a page layout. Participants also complete a written communications quiz and an editing exercise. The state champion team will advance to the national contest in October.
Team members evaluate 50 cotton samples and class each sample according to color grade and leaf grade. The team consist of 3 to 4 members, and the high 3 scores make up the team score.
Dairy Cattle Judging
During this event, team members complete a written exam, evaluate dairy cattle on physical characteristics, and analyze cows based on pedigree and herd records. They must judge 6 classes, take a 25 question exam of dairy science, evaluate 2 separate cows, score them on a linear scale, and answer 5 questions over 2 separate classes. Teams consist of three or four members and the top three scores are compiled for team results. The top three teams advance to a national contest held in September or October.
Beef cattle and sheep and swine are evaluated for market values and desirable physical traits. Team members also rank livestock for breeding purposes, using observed physical characteristics and performance data. The students judge 6 different classes of 4 animals of the same species, evaluate 8 animals of the same species and decide to keep 4 and cull 4 of the animals based on EPDs and physical traits, slaughter grade 5 live steers, take a 25 question test over animal science, and answer 5 questions over three different classes. Team consists of 3 to 4 members, and the high 3 scores make up the team score. The top three teams advance to a national contest either in October, November, or January.
This contest allows members to observe and evaluate in order to rank horses based on breed characteristics and conformation. Performance classes are evaluated within various equestrian styles. American Quarter Horse standards are used in performance classes. They judge 8 classes that include everything from halter to reining, hunter under saddle, hunter hack, western pleasure, etc. They must then answer 5 questions over 2 different classes. Three or four member teams with the top three scores count towards the team scores. The top 2 teams advance to a national contest in October or November.
Cotton Judging Team
by Fr. Jim Schmitmeyer
Holy Father Francis once delivered a homily addressed to the priests of Rome in which he reminded them that “pastors should smell like their sheep.” I don’t know if smelling like a cow also applies, but I thought of his words last week when I took a young horse to ride pens in a feedlot south of Wildorado.
I enjoy sorting cows on horseback. The young horses that I train get practice working cattle and I get to practice working on my Spanish. On this particular day, most of the cattle in the pens came from Mexico. Fortunately, my riding partner, Miguel, speaks their language and knows the appropriate expressions to use when chasing them, that is, words not found on a standard vocabulary app.
The colt I’m currently riding has a lot of Hancock in him. This bloodline is known for good cow sense and I’m proud to say that, on his first day in the feedlot, he proved true to his ancestry. Within no time, the young horse knew exactly what he was supposed to do: KEEP THE STEERS FROM DOING WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, namely, get lost in the crowd and stick with the herd.
But riding pens requires more than a horse that knows what to do. It helps when the rider also knows what to do which, in my case, is not always the case. For instance, when Miguel points to a yellow steer and says, el Amarillo, it means, “Sort out the sick, yellow one.” But when “the sick, yellow cow” is bunched together with two black cows and seven other yellow cows. Miguel needs to be more specific. So I holler back, “La vaca con la nariz corriendo (the cow with the running nose)?” Miguel starts laughing and nearly falls off his horse. Evidently, the phrase doesn’t translate. So, I remind myself to look up the Spanish word for snot during the break.
Later, we unsaddle the horses at the cowboy shack. I thank the foreman for letting me ride the pens with a green horse. I glance at Miguel who reminds me, with a smile, that my horse is brown, not green.
I nod toward his horse and tell him to check the halter and make sure it’s tight. Just in case that nose decides to run off and leave the rest of his horse behind.
Back on March 4th, Jake Waldo, a Junior at Nazareth High School, competed at Ogallala Commons Regional Youth Entrepreneur Fair at the Cole Community Center in Canyon, TX. Jake won 4th Place with his Get Powdered business idea in the Ready-To-Go category.
Pictured is wind turbine blade traveling through the intersection in Nazareth. This turbine was one of many big parts traveling through Nazareth last week as construction of the Bethel Wind Farm west of Dimmitt gets into full swing.
Spring is here and Nazareth Feed and Supply is ready to help with all of your lawn and garden needs this year. From seed and fertilizer to herbicides, insecticides, and Soil Mender products. Come by and see how we can help you have a better lawn and garden this year. 945-2291.