Quality Divides Competition in 2014 Oklahoma Junior Wheat ShowWed, 05 Nov 2014 12:37:21 CST
More than 17 thousand dollars in scholarships were awarded to participants in this year's Oklahoma Junior Wheat Show. More than 60 entries were entered in this year's 4-H and FFA state wide contest. The awards banquet was held Tuesday night at the Oklahoma State University Conoco Phillips Alumni Center in Stillwater. Oklahoma State University Grain Marketing Specialist and event coordinator Kim Anderson said this provides a valuable learning experience for youth.
"They get to produce the wheat, so they get involved in the production, learn how to produce the product, they get involved in the economics of production, what is the cost of production, they get involved with the marketing of that product, they see the quality of product, they now know the milling characteristics that is important," Anderson said. "...It also get them looking at their future and their future that includes a college education."
This year's overall champion was 15 year old Craig Westfahl of the Okeene FFA Chapter. The 9th grade FFA student won with his Ruby Lee variety. His crop placed second in production and milling and 6th in baking. He is the son of Owen and Kerry. During the growing season he thought he might exhibit another variety until he noticed how the drought was impacting the kernels, so he opted to show his Ruby Lee crop. Westfahl credited his father for his involvement in the wheat show as Owen is a second generation wheat farmer. Westfahl said the scholarships will help him pursue a college degree. Radio Oklahoma Network's Leslie Smith caught up with Craig after the banquet. Click on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to the full interview.
For the second year in a row the 4-H wheat show champion was Damon Fisher of the Lomega 4-H Club in Kingfisher County. The 12 year old won with his Ruby Lee variety. He placed fourth in the production and milling contest, 9th in the baking contest and first overall. He also finished third overall in the 4-H division with his Iba variety. He is the son of Kevin and Lesly Fisher. This was the third year and final year for Fisher to compete in the wheat show as he has maxed out his scholarship earnings. He said next year he will continue to help his brother and sister with their wheat projects.
The Oklahoma Wheat Show is a long standing tradition dating back more than 50 years. Oklahoma Wheat Commission Executive Director Mike Schulte said the annual contest emphasizes the importance of grain quality. In 1982 the US represented 35 percent of the world's wheat exports, today that number is 17 percent. He said today there are others countries producing wheat that were not in the market place 20 - 30 years ago.
"Because of that we're trying to show students maybe some of skill sets they are going to need in order to be competitive in the global market," Schulte said. "The opportunity is there, it's just that they need to have a good product that our buyers are wanting."
Speaking at the banquet, OSU Wheat Breeding Specialist Dr. Brett Carver said the changes to the contest created better separation between contestants and a simpler scoring system. The changes to the program lessened the impact of scores for visual appearance and put more emphasis on the dough and bread performance. He said the key to winning the wheat show is a combination of good kernel size, high test weight, protein of 12 - 13 percent, good gluten strength and baking characteristics. He said he was proud to see how well the OSU varieties performed in the contest.
The Oklahoma Wheat Show was sponsored by WestBred, Oklahoma State Fair, Oklahoma Genetics, Inc., Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Wheat Commission, Oklahoma Wheat Research Foundation, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.
Here are the top five results in the 2014 Oklahoma Junior Wheat Show.
FFA Champion - Craig Westfahl - Okeene FFA Chapter - Ruby Lee variety
2.Kohl Murray - Perkins-Tryon FFA Chapter - Ruby Lee variety
3.Kelly Schweitzer - Lomega FFA Chapter - Ruby Lee variety
4. Kylie Biggs - Lomega FFA Chapter - Shocker variety
5. Blake Bedwell - Okeene FFA Chapter - Ruby Lee variety
4-H Champion - Damon Fisher - Lomega 4-H Club/Kingfisher Co. - Ruby Lee variety
2. Rebecca Unruh - Lomega 4-H Club/Kingfisher Co. - Billings variety
3. Damon Fisher - Lomega 4-H Club/Kingfisher Co. - Iba variety
4. Dilon Fisher - Lomega 4-H Club/Kingfisher Co. - Iba variety
5. Levi Smith - Okeene 4-H Club/Blaine Co. - Ruby Lee variety
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