Students from the Cortez FFA Chapter attended the Western Slope FFA judging contests in Fruita, Colo., on April 18. Cortez was represented by four teams consisting of four members each at the contest. The teams were: meats judging, which placed second overall, horse judging, which placed fourth overall, agricultural sales, that also placed fourth overall and livestock judging, which placed tenth overall.
In the meats judging contest the members take a written test, determine yield and quality grades on carcasses, place classes of cuts of meat, determine what species various cuts of meat are from, and identify retail cuts and what part of the animal the cut came from and how the cut should be cooked. The meats judging team members are: Jaycee Syra, Ryan Daves, Wiley Kirks, and Trenton Gustafson. The meats judging placed a close second behind Moffat County who won the contest.
In the agricultural sales contest, the contestants pick or make a product to sell. The team members have to come up with a sales pitch and create some way that is catchy and effective to sell their product to the public. The day of the contest the agricultural sales team takes a written test and gives their sales pitch to a panel of judges whom they try to sell their product to in a mock sales call. The agricultural sales team worked closely with Geisinger Feed Grains to develop a sales pitch for cattle feed Geisingers has developed called ProRation. Agricultural Sales team includes: Lacey McDonald, Lana Robbins, and Cheyenne Henderson.
In the livestock judging contest contestants place 10 classes that consist of market and breeding beef, sheep, swine, and goats. The livestock judges determine two classes of keep/cull animals, yield and quality grade live animals, give three sets of reasons and take a written test. Livestock judging team includes: Cheyenne Mortensen, Landan Wilson, Vanessa Gapp, Whitney Finley, and Chance Lambert. State rules only allow four members per team. The top four livestock judges who will represent Cortez at state are: Cheyenne Mortensen, Landan Wilson, Vanessa Gapp and Whitney Finley.
Horse judging is similar to livestock judging, except instead of livestock they judge horses. The contestants judged three classes at the western slope contest. They judged two halter classes and one reining class. At the state contest they will judge four classes that can include Halter, Western Pleasure, and Hunter Under Saddle. After the Cortez judges judged the classes they gave one set of reasons about why they placed the class the way they did. Horse judging contestants include: Chantz Koskie, Elisabeth Hoch, Shelby Caughey, Shandra Fitchett, and Tyrell Sturman. Chantz Koskie, Elisabeth Hoch, Shandra Fitchett and Tyrell Sturman will represent that chapter at the state contest.
All of the teams did a great job and represented the Cortez FFA chapter well. All four teams qualified to compete at the Colorado State CDES in Fort Collins on April 30, on the Colorado State University campus.