2018 FFA State Range Judging contest held in Chase County
Four hundred and forty-eight high school students and teachers from 48 schools from across Nebraska visited Chase County last week to test their knowledge of rangeland management during the 64th Annual Nebraska State Range Judging Contest.
Each fall, students enrolled in agriculture or natural resources classes compete for top honors in range judging contests. Contestants compete as individuals and as teams in either the Junior or Senior Division. Six area contests are held in mid to late September in addition to the State contest. The contests are sponsored by the Nebraska Section Society for Range Management. Co-sponsors include Nebraska Extension, Natural Resources Districts (NRD), and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Volunteers from these and other natural resource agencies and groups assist local committees with organizing and conducting the contests. Over the last 10 years, attendance at area contests has averaged 1,100 students.
Range Judging Contests test the participants’ skills and knowledge of plant identification, ecological site identification and composition, rangeland conservation and grazing management. While studying for range judging competitions, students learn about one of Nebraska’s major land uses. Rangelands cover nearly 50 percent of Nebraska and approximately 60 percent of the United States. Even if these young contest participants do not pursue a career in rangeland or natural resource management, they will gain an understanding of a major natural resource that will be remembered throughout their lifetimes.
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