For the past several months, the Hotchkiss FFA chapter has been practicing the career development experience (CDE) of livestock judging or livestock evaluation. Team members Trenton Carr, Colton Peebles, Hailey Lofley, Morgan Miller, Ruby Shiflet, Bruce Turnbull and Dalton Raley met once a week in the Hotchkiss ag room to practice. Over the course of several months and with the generous help of Robbie LeValley, the team ended with a very successful season.
Livestock evaluation consists of carefully analyzing animals and measuring them against a standard that is commonly accepted as being ideal. During each competition, members judged classes of sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. Each member placed the class, and based on the judges' decision, presented sets of reasons as to why they placed the classes that way. The practices were abundant and the competition was tough, but each participant from the Hotchkiss FFA improved greatly over the past year. It's not an easy CDE to be a part of; however, the experience and skills that come out of it last for life.
Throughout this year the Hotchkiss team attended competitions in Cortez and Rangely where they gained experience as to how competitions are run and what livestock evaluation is all about. On April 20, Hotchkiss' livestock team placed third at the district CDE competition held in Olathe. Also, the horse judging team of Lacey Rodriguez, Ruby Shiflet and Tess Gore placed second, with Tess Gore winning high individual. This competition gave both Hotchkiss teams a boost of confidence for the state competition.
State CDEs were on May 2, and members were asked to judge five classes of cattle, two of sheep, one of hogs, and one of goats during this competition. Competing members from the Hotchkiss chapter were Hailey Lofley, Colton Peebles, Morgan Miller and Bruce Turnbull. In the end, the official awards banquet made all the hard work worth it. Individuals Miller, Peebles and Lofley received silver awards and the team placed silver overall. Compared to other teams, Hotchkiss was one place off of gold.
The Hotchkiss FFA livestock judging team members credit Robbie LeValley and her tireless hours of work and late nights for all that they accomplished. Without her help none of it would have been possible. They thank her for always supporting them in and out of competition and being such a blessing to everyone around her. Members would also like to thank their ag advisor, Coley Wondra, for being the heart and soul of the Hotchkiss FFA Chapter. Without him FFA would not be the same.
Hotchkiss FFA is a program that continues to grow and flourish with each year that goes by. All members say goodbye to a busy school year filled with FFA events and look forward to the upcoming summer and the 2016-2017 year.