The Blanco FFA Chapter recently traveled to Stephenville to compete in the Tarleton State University Invitational Career Development Events. Annually, the Tarleton Invitational has proven to be the largest youth competitive event in the world with over 7,000 contestants and more than 500 schools competing each year.
With more than a dozen contests being held on the day, the Blanco FFA competed in 7 different events. Highlighting the day for Blanco were 1st place finishes by both the Livestock and ENR teams. The Livestock team claimed the top spot out of 257 teams in a competition that proved to be the largest contest ever held with over 1,200 contestants. Individually, Alex Gustafson, Sam Isenberg, Kellam Nabers, Tyler Hardin, Logan Dodd, and Joanna Delavan did well as each placed in the top 75 contestants overall. The Environmental Natural Resources (ENR) team also took home top honors for the second consecutive year. Team members Colton Childress, Jace Ammons, Weston Copenhaver, Kyle Sauceda, Ryan Wagner, and Chad Marshall ranked high individually with Colton placing 1st, Jace 2nd, Weston 5th, Kyle 9th, and Ryan 10th.
Blanco’s next highest placing went to the Land team which placed 4th overall. Mike Gonzales placed 3rd individually, while Britton Wagner, Mackenzie Johnson, Skylar Itz, and Megan Andrews all finished in the top quarter.
Next in line for Blanco were 5th place finishes by both the Entomology and Range teams. In Entomology, Megan Wier ranked the highest, placing 3rd overall with Rance Dollahite finishing 15th. Team members Erica Flores, Monica Flores, Deanna Sevilla, Lauren Russell, and Courtnie Schroeder also did well, placing in the top 50%. Individually in Range, contestants Callie Culton, Ed Alvarado, TJ Raby, Matt Pepper, and James Leachman all finished consistently in the top half of the event.
Finally, a shorthanded Homesite team consisting of just two members still did well enough to place 7th overall as Taylor Guinn placed 7th and Philip Alvarado 14th. Blanco’s Dairy team just missed the top 10, finishing 11th overall with team members Colton Elrod, Aikman Elrod, Jack Morgan, Elise Edmondson, Morgan Lowak, and Dylan Tesch all finishing in the top half of the event.
As a group, the Blanco FFA Chapter was the only school to win more than one contest while also having 5 teams finish in the top 5 overall. As a result of winning Livestock and ENR, the Blanco FFA was awarded two $1,000 scholarships.
Advisors for the Blanco FFA are Felice and Jason Marek.