FFA range judging places the students in the field to make real-life judgments about the past grazing management and best management practices to recommend for range improvement.

Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Events Announced for Fall of 2019

Ben Berlinger, Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management, Youth Activities Chair

FFA Range Judging is getting into full swing.  Preparations are underway for the upcoming Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Career Development Exercises (CDE’s).  The FFA range judging events have been scheduled for this fall:

Northeast CO Regional at Prairie School on September 16; hosted by the New Raymer FFA Chapter; sponsored by the West Greeley Conservation District; registration at 7:45 AM contest begins at 8:30 AM.

Southeast CO Regional at Branson School on September 18; hosted by the Branson FFA Chapter; co-sponsored by the Branson-Trinchera and the Spanish Peaks Purgatoire River Conservation Districts; registration at 7:45 AM contest begins at 8:45 AM.

Eastern CO State at Seibert Community Center on October 2; co-hosted by the High Plains (Seibert), Stratton, Flagler, and Burlington FFA Chapters; co-sponsored by the Burlington and Flagler Conservation Districts; registration at 7:45 AM contest begins at 8:45 AM.

Plant ID judging at Regional Contests involves identifying the common names of 30 range plants along with important characteristics of each plant.

Colorado Section SRM members who will be assisting with these educational youth events.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Colorado State University Extension (CSU), and Agriculture Research Service (ARS) personnel provide local support for FFA range judging events.  FFA range judging activities are strongly supported by several of our local Conservation Districts and the Colorado State Land Board (SLB).  Their funding supports the purchasing of awards, ribbons, and plaques, and providing refreshments and lunch for the students and their agriculture teachers.

State FFA Range Judging requires the students to know the common names or 50 range plants along with the characteristics important to range management.

FFA range judging involves the students in judging the condition of two ecological sites.  Several attributes are determined by the students including ecological site name, plant composition, range condition class, vegetation basal and litter cover, suggested stocking rate, apparent rangeland trend, and recommended best management practices.

FFA site judging requires students to understand several qualities relating to evaluating an ecological site.

The CSSRM presents plaques at each of the award ceremonies for these events.  They recognize high scoring individuals for combined scores on site judging and plant identification, as well as the high individual score on the plant identification.  The Colorado Section also presents the overall high scoring individual at the state contest with a check in the amount of $200.  The SRM presence at these youth events is well recognized and appreciated by the students, FFA officers, and Ag teachers.  Stay tuned for the results and how these FFA students performed at the various regional and state events!

Individuals wanting more information or desiring to assist with any of these exciting and education youth events may contact Ben Berlinger, CSSRM Youth Activities Chair, at 719-469-3895 or Ben.Berlinger@co.usda.gov.

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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