Cortez FFA learn skills, earn state awards

Cortez FFA Horse judging team with their silver award: Elisabeth Hoch, Shandi Fitchett and Hunter Garlinghouse Enlargephoto

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Cortez FFA Horse judging team with their silver award: Elisabeth Hoch, Shandi Fitchett and Hunter Garlinghouse

For students who ask their teachers, “When will I ever use this in the real world?” Career Development Events (CDEs) are the answer.

Since 1928, FFA has worked to create CDEs that demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios; CDEs build on what is learned in agricultural classes and the FFA.

The events are designed to help prepare students for careers in agriculture. Classroom instruction comes alive as students demonstrate their skills in a competitive setting. CDE’s test the abilities of individuals and teams in 23 major areas of agricultural instruction.

Six Cortez FFA members made their way to the Colorado State Career Developments Events on May 5th, at the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins. Representing the Cortez FFA in two different events, the students competed along with nearly 1,300 other FFA members from around the state. The top 15% of teams and individuals place in the gold category, the next 15 percent in the silver and the next 15 percent in the bronze.

Elisabeth Hoch, Hunter Garlinghouse and Shandi Fitchett competed in horse evaluation. In this CDE, students evaluate and rank horses on breed characteristics, conformation, and performance. They also give oral reasons explaining their placing of various classes. With 147 horse judges competing, Shandi Fitchett and Elisabeth Hoch placed in the gold division. Shandi placed 10th and received a $250 scholarship to Colorado State University. As a team, the girls earned a silver award.

Dylan Long, Brian Romine and Halee Pell competed in livestock evaluation. Very similar to horse evaluation, livestock judges evaluate beef cattle, sheep, and swine and defend their decisions. At the competition, participants complete a written exam and cooperatively determine keep/cull classes for market and breeding usage, based on physical characteristics and records. They also give oral reasons explaining their placing of various classes.

FFA is a national organization of 500,823 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with 7,358 local chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. FFA strives to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Information: www.ffa.org.

Cortez FFA judging teams pose with CAM the Ram, CSU’s mascot while competing at Colorado FFA State CDE’s Back Row: Dylan Long and Brian Romine. Front row: Halee Pell, Hunter Garlinghouse, Shandi Fitchett and Elisabeth Hoch. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

Cortez FFA judging teams pose with CAM the Ram, CSU’s mascot while competing at Colorado FFA State CDE’s Back Row: Dylan Long and Brian Romine. Front row: Halee Pell, Hunter Garlinghouse, Shandi Fitchett and Elisabeth Hoch.