High school agriculture students from across eastern Colorado competed this fall in the state FFA
Range Judging and Plant Identification contest held on October 13 th at the Seibert Community Center.
This youth educational event was sponsored by the Burlington Conservation District and the Colorado
Section of the Society for Range Management (CSSRM) as part of their youth activities program. The
hosting FFA Chapters were Hi-Plains (Seibert), Stratton, Arickaree (Cope), and Flagler. Other sponsors were
several of the conservation districts all across eastern Colorado! The generous support of these sponsors is greatly appreciated!

This rangeland educational event involved a total of 212 agriculture students representing 22 FFA
chapters across eastern Colorado. Winning teams this year were Lone Star FFA (First Place Gold), Branson
FFA (Gold), Stratton FFA (Silver), Arickaree FFA (Silver), Hoehne FFA (Bronze), and Fowler FFA (Bronze).
Students were divided into three groups to identify 50 range plant species and two ecological sites.

During the plant identification portion students had one minute to identify the plant before moving on to
the next plant. At the two ecological sites, students had 40 minutes to complete a rangeland inventory to
determine the ecological site, condition of the site, and a range management scenario that was provided
and required the students to recommend the best range/grazing management practices. Judging the two
ecological sites also tested the students plant identification skills.

The Range Judging Contest is one of many FFA Career Development Events (CDE’s) agriculture
students can participate in to test their skills and knowledge learned through their agricultural education
classes. Through the Range Judging Contest students are tested on their plant identification skills and
reading the landscape to determine the ecological site, condition of the rangeland, amount of usable
forage, and number of animals that can be supported on the land.

At the Eastern CO State event Braden Wedel (center) of the Stratton FFA accepts his recognition for highest individual achievement for both plant id and ecological site judging. Pictured from left to right are Dan Nosal and Ben Berlinger CO Section SRM.

Thank you to all the FFA Advisors, bus drivers, local Conservation Districts, the Colorado State Land
Board and the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service for helping make these events a success for all the participating high school ag students. A special thank you goes out to the Hatfield Ranch for allowing the use of their rangeland for this educational youth event.

By Brian 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.