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Agricultural News

AFR/OFU Sponsors Annual Cattle Grading Contest

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:47:08 CDT

AFR/OFU Sponsors Annual Cattle Grading Contest

American Farmers & Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union (AFR/OFU) sponsored the Oklahoma City Farm Show Commercial Cattle Grading Contest April 10 at the OKC Livestock Market in El Reno. AFR/OFU provides scholarship dollars, trophy awards and other necessities. Each year, the event awards more than $6,000 in prizes and scholarships to 4-H and FFA members.

To excel in the contest, participants must employ their knowledge of high-quality cattle traits to choose breeding and market animals that will prove profitable in real-life production situations. The contestants rank animals by structural soundness of replacement heifers, profitability of cull cows, market steer yield potential and more. Ultimately, contestants are rewarded for their recognition of high-quality cattle just as a producer would profit from similar selection within their own herd.

"Contestants' ability to identify the best animals within their herd and in purchasing situations ensures their success as future cattle producers," said AFR/OFU President Terry Detrick. "We are proud to sponsor a competition that translates to real-life situations and encourages Oklahoma's youth to pursue careers in production agriculture."

During the event, participants attended a one-hour educational seminar on commercial cattle grading presented by Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) Consultant on Rural Development Gary Bledsoe and ODAFF Market Development Coordinator Jason Harvey. Participants learn about production challenges, such as how to choose replacement heifers and how to determine when an aged cow needs to be culled.

During the contest, four-person teams practice their skills by grading 15 head of commercial cattle. Awards are earned by the top three teams and the top three individuals in two age groups 4-H and FFA. Participants do not need to own livestock to participate.

High individuals in the FFA division were Jacob Gould of the Perkins-Tryon FFA Chapter, in first place, Grace Blackwell, of the Oktaha FFA Chapter, in second place, and Laura Wood, of the Vinita FFA Chapter, in third place.

High individuals in the 4-H division were Kayln Branen of Rogers County 4-H, in first place, Laysen Garrett, of Logan County 4-H, in second place, and Tracy Criner, of Porter 4-H, in third place.

The top-placing FFA teams were:

1st Place: Oktaha FFA Chapter (Grace Blackwell, Levi Hill, Mazie Richards, Stetson Richards)

2nd Place: Beggs FFA Chapter (Lauren Pendergrass, Colt Scrader, Erik Svendsen, Krista Svendsen)

3rd Place: Vinita FFA Chapter (Dylan Enyart, Darcey Hilburn, Baylee Mendell, Laura Wood)

The top-placing 4-H teams were:

1st Place: Nowata 4-H (Wyatt Beck, Jacob Johnson, Bryan Kile, Kylee Wickham)

2nd Place: Logan County 4-H (Maysen Garrett, Madeline Dimmitt, Kasey Shipley, Gabe South)

Jacob Gould, of the Perkins-Tryon FFA Chapter, was the top-scoring overall individual. He received the $2,000 Rick Jones Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by OKC West Livestock Market, Inc.

"The Oklahoma City Farm Show Commercial Cattle Grading Contest is just one more way our membership actively promotes the youth of Oklahoma," said Detrick. "We look forward to the future accomplishments of these outstanding students and we are proud to play a part in their success."

The Oklahoma City Farm Show Cattle Grading Contest is just one of many AFR/OFU Youth Program traditions. The organization also hosts a poster contest, summer youth leadership summit, statewide scholarships, livestock handling and skills contest, livestock judging and many other leadership opportunities. For more information on how to participate in AFR/OFU's speech contest or other youth activities, visit the AFR/OFU website at www.iAFR.com.



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