The Blanco FFA Livestock Team completed one of the most successful judging seasons ever by winning the 2009 State Livestock Judging Career Development Event this past weekend at Texas A&M University in College Station. Team members Keaton Dodd, Kaleigh Anderson, Quaid Haack, and Claire Klepac finished the day in first place after competing against over 80 of the state’s top teams from 10 different areas across Texas. Overall, there were almost 600 livestock teams in the state competing for a chance to advance to the state contest. Individually, Keaton ranked in the top 10 overall placing sixth, while Kaleigh placed in the top twenty at fifteenth. Blanco finished just 3 points ahead of second place Bellville, in what proved to be one of the highest scoring livestock contests to date.
Blanco will now begin preparations for the National FFA Livestock Judging Contest which will be held in conjunction with the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana in November.
This marks the ninth time in the past twelve years that the Blanco FFA has qualified for a national contest. However, it is the first overall state championship for the local chapter and the first time to advance to Indianapolis.
In addition to the livestock team’s success, the Blanco FFA had five other teams competing in state competitions this past week, with each doing extremely well. The Entomology Team consisting of Daniel Romero, Brian Roche, Taylor McCormick, and Brooks Wyatt placed 4th overall at the State Entomology CDE held in Lubbock at Texas Tech University. Individually, Daniel and Brian each placed in the top twenty finishing 16th and 18th respectively. There were a total of 55 teams and almost 200 individuals that qualified to compete.
Following the state contests at Texas Tech, the Blanco FFA Range Plant ID team competed in their respective state contest in Hamilton. Team members Mindy Dechert, Payton Duvall, and Kylie Leachman finished the competition in 2nd place, with Mindy placing 4th overall in individual competition, followed by Payton in 5th, and Kylie in 9th.
Next, the Blanco FFA traveled to Stephenville to compete in the state contests for Land, Range, and Dairy. These competitions were hosted by Tarleton State University. Blanco’s Dairy Team brought home the highest honors placing 4th out of 51 teams. Team members Aaron Thomson, Lauren Winn, Austin Smith, and Lindsey Winn would prove extremely competitive in what proved to be one of the highest scoring dairy contests ever. Individually, Aaron ranked 15th overall, followed by Lauren at 16th, and Austin at 19th. In the range contest, Blanco finished the day 11th. Team members included Katie Baker, Taylor McCormick, Grayson Elrod, and Tucker Edmondson. Finally, Victoria Jones, Lauren Graham, Shelby Moore, and Austin Deshane ranked 20th in the state land judging contest to close out the year.
Overall, this proved to be the most successful year ever for the Blanco FFA in career development events, as six teams qualified for state competitions, with all six placing in the top twenty and four of those teams placing in the top four.
Advisors for the Blanco FFA are Felice and Jason Marek.