R-P FFA does well at State Convention

Chad Smith

Fourteen Rushford-Peterson students made the trip to this year’s FFA State Convention at the University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities April 28-30. Several students took part in state competitions and others went to the convention as delegates. R-P FFA Adviser Colby Lind said they had a great state convention this year.

“We had students compete in dairy handling, livestock evaluation, and the poultry competitions,” Lind said. “We also had a few students that went as official delegates. One of the biggest highlights was Payton Morrison winding up second in the state in dairy handling.

“He (Morrison) works really hard on that event through FFA and some of the other youth dairy shows he takes part in,” he added. “He also takes part in open-class shows too. His whole family has shown livestock a lot in the past.”

Nolan Mueller and Ian Brown also took part in dairy handling, which Lind says is a showmanship competition. “For people who’ve never seen it before, they’re showing the animals that the kids in the dairy evaluation competition are judging,” Lind said. “They get up and grab a dairy heifer or cow by the halter and compete with other students on how they present and exhibit the animal.”

Five students also took part in livestock evaluation at the state convention. They were Hans Lind, John Luhmann, Alyssa Nessler, Tristan Hegeland, and Jens Lind (alternate). The R-P team finished 21st out of 61 teams in the competition. Hans Lind was 15th individually and Luhmann was 22nd out of a total of 221 students.

“For those who don’t know, livestock evaluation consists of beef cattle, pigs, sheep, and market goats,” Lind said. “There are four animals in a class and the competitors rank those animals on quality from first to last. Within those classes, the competitors take notes and give about a two-minute presentation to an official judge called ‘oral reasons,’ explaining why they ranked the animals as they did.”

Paige Dailey competed individually in the poultry competition. She finished 82nd out of 160 students entered. Lind said it’s quite a challenge to even get to the state competition, let alone do well.

“Minnesota is split into eight regions,” he explained. “Each region gets a quota in each contest. The region contests take place throughout the year and they qualify kids for the state competitions. There are a lot of kids in each regional competition. For example, we had 60 teams that qualified to come out of their region and compete in livestock evaluation at the state convention. Our region livestock contest had over 200 kids in it.”

The official R-P delegates to the state convention were Tim Highum, Hannah Highum, Emma Heiden, Faith Eide, and Julia Maynard. Lind said the delegates attend different workshops and sessions during the convention. They also participated in the decision-making process for the State FFA organization.

“This year, there was a vote to change the Minnesota FFA Constitution to increase the cost of FFA dues,” he said. “It’s to help cover rising costs as things get more expensive all the time.

“As an example, all the contests went to a Scan-tron form rather than people grading the contests entirely by hand,” Lind said. “Now it’s all done on a computer. Instead of needing three weeks to get results in, they can have the results within a day. With that said, you know need people to run the data, handle the Scan-tron machine, all of which costs more money.”

 Some of the delegates got to attend workshops and bring home some ideas on how to make the Rushford-Peterson FFA chapter even better in the future.