by Brendan Kelley of EP FFA.
Eagle Point FFA has had two top 5 finishes at national contests in the past month. The latest top success came on January 13, 2008 when the Eagle Point FFA livestock judging team placed 5th at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. The team’s high overall placing was a result of high individual placings.
- Amanda Vargas took high honors in sheep placing as well as placed in the top 10 in other categories.
- Rene Moser’s hard work in Beef evaluation paid off in Denver as she placed 7th in Beef reasons assuring her the 14th high individual beef judge
- Kayla Roberts placed 12th overall high individual in the contest as a result of 6th overall in placing classes and 18th overall in oral reasons.
- Kristin Wyatt’s 7th place finish in swine placings helped her receive 12th high individual for hogs and 10th overall placings.
- Brendan Kelley was consistent all day with placings in 5 different categories.
Advisor Curtis North had this to say about team seniors Amanda Vargas
and Rene Moser, "We needed them to have a good showing and they did by
not caving under the added pressure of a national contest and proving
that they will be an asset at the state contest in August.
National Western Contest was more intense than anything that the team
has seen for 2 reasons. The contest itself was of a higher number of
classes that were significantly more challenging than the average
class. There were a higher number of classes that required the use of
performance data. There were also 2 types of classes relatively new to
the team. These included Feedlot Steers and market lambs. Each team
member was required to give six sets of reasons which was doubled
anything that the team had ever had to endure. The other contributing
factor to the raised level of intensity was the competition. Teams had
to qualify for this contest by receiving either first or second place
in the state rather than simply sign up.
The contest was
also more geographically diverse. Every region and nearly every state
was represented. It showed who’s going to be tough competitors as far
as a national level for livestock judging. Eagle Point FFA was in
close contention with Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, and Montana who were
the top 4 teams and nudged out Oklahoma. Kristin Wyatt, the youngest
member of the team said, "This was by far the most intense contest I’ve
ever competed in." Advisor Keith Frost states "Eagle Point FFA has a
fantastic pool of livestock judges who have proven that they can
compete strictly on raw talent with most any team in the nation. We
just need to fine tune some details and I think we have the capability
of being a team that can be the best in the country."