Eighteen members of the local FFA chapter represented Caldwell County at the 116th Kentucky State Fair August 14 and 15. After weeks of practice and hard work FFA members from across the state met at the annual event in Louisville to prove their skills in various competitions ranging from seed identification to tobacco exhibits.
The Floriculture Team consisted of Kylie York, Kyla McGowan, Nicole Cravens and Kathryn Eldridge. This contest involves flower identification of over 100 plants, a floral design activity and two written tests on horticulture knowledge. The Floriculture team ranked 9th in the state among the 30-plus teams.
The Dairy Cattle Judging Team consisted of Dylan Adams, Maggie Ginn, Destiny Mitchell and Austin Richey. These students judged four classes of heifers, two classes of dairy cows, one pedigree class and gave two sets of reasons to justify their rankings. Over 50 strong teams competed in the event and Caldwell placed 9th.
The Meat Judging Team, which placed 5th this year, included Brigan Gill, James "Bubba" Jones, Cole Smiley and Kaylee Brown. Team members had to identify retail cuts of meats from beef, pork and lamb, and judge a class of pork hams, beef loin steaks, whole pork loins and pork center loin chops. They also had to place USDA Quality and Yield grades on carcasses based on information provided.
The Agronomy Judging Team, a new contest for Caldwell County this year, consisted of Noah Helphenstine and Bellah McConnell. This team placed 13th overall. In this contest members are challenged to build and demonstrate knowledge in the wide field of agronomy. Students evaluate agronomic scenarios and develop a crop management plan that include crop selection, production, problem- solving and marketing.
Another team that went to compete at the state level was the Caldwell County Livestock Judging Team. Team members were Noah Peake, Katie Trimble, Shelby Lane and Emily Kirk.
In this event, students had to judge the following classes: Angus heifers, crossbred steers, market hogs, breeding gilts, breeding ewes, market lambs, goats and slaughter and feeder cattle grading.
For the first time in Caldwell County FFA History, the Livestock Team placed 2nd; bringing home the title of State Reserve Champion.
In addition to team contests, FFA members entered numerous crops into contests.
Colton George received 1st Premium White Corn for 2018, and the following students received a blue ribbon for their yellow corn entries: Kylie York, Dylan Harper, Colyn Caraway and Nicole Cravens.
In the Wheat Division, Kylie York received 5th place, Ethan Cotton received 12th place, and Colton George received 13th place.
In the Soybean Division, Kylie York received 4th place overall.
In the Tobacco Division, Colton George received 9th place in Dark Air-Cured by stick and 2nd place in Dark Fired by stick.
Rounding out the honors at the Kentucky State Fair, Caldwell County won 2nd overall Best Chapter Wheat Exhibit, 5th Best Chapter Soybean Exhibit and 4th best Chapter Corn Exhibit.