Members of the Blanco FFA Livestock Judging team have started the new semester and year training hard and competing in area invitational contests. These practice contests are vital for providing students with the hands on instruction needed to become proficient in the skill of successfully evaluating livestock species. Over the last three weeks members have taken part in the Floresville, Victoria and Heart of Texas Invitational Contests which have reinforced classroom instruction. In addition, they toured the Graham Livestock Facility where they had the opportunity to grade over 30,000 head of cattle.
The first contest for the new team was the Floresville Invitational where the Senior team finished 4th overall. The team was led by John Pepper who placed 6th high individual out of over 100 judgers. The next day, the team traveled to Victoria where they finished in 18th.
The following weekend, team members traveled to Brady for the Heart of Texas Invitational where the team finished 3rd overall, 2nd in Beef Cattle Grading, 5th in Swine, 9th in Sheep and 12th in Cattle and 2nd in Cattle. Team members Kylie Leachman, Sam Isenberg and Maggie Dennis all placed in the top twenty overall. In species competition, Kellam Nabers led Blanco in Sheep by placing 3rd overall; Sam Isenberg, Maggie Dennis and Tyler Hardin all tied for 1st overall in Swine judging, while Kylie Leachman finished 4th in Cattle. In the Feeder and Slaughter Cattle Division, Sam Isenberg and Alex Gustafson were 9th and 10th overall.
This has been a great start to building a new team and many of the members are showing tremendous promise. Those participating in the contests include: Maggie Dennis, John Pepper, Sam Isenberg, Kylie Leachman, Alex Gustafson, Ed Alvarado, Tyler Hardin, Tim Goodman, Skylar Itz, Cody Perez, Matt Pepper, Kellam Nabers, Ian Ray, Tyler Noah, Joanna Delavan, Callie Culton, Mackenzie Johnson and Garrett Gombert.
The next series of contests will begin the week after spring break as the students will travel to Tarleton State University, Texas State University, Texas A&M University, The Star of Texas Livestock Contest and the George West Invitational Contest.