Three Burnet High School FFA judging teams advanced to the state career development event competition after strong finishes Oct. 18 at the Area 7 contest in Blanco. It’s the first time the school has had teams for range, homesite, and land qualify for state at one time and the first time the land team has ever advanced to state.
Students Ainsley Goehring and Karley Denton also won scholarships of $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.
All three teams advancing is especially significant in that several seniors from the previous year graduated.
“I was pretty surprised at all three advancing because of how young we are this year,” said Burnet High School agriculture teacher Shane Wigington. “This was supposed to be a rebuilding year. But, man, these kids just did amazing. They’ve worked so hard.”
Of the 18 students in the state-eligible events, only five competed last year. The Burnet FFA’s plan identification team also competed in the Area 7 contest, but the Blanco contest was not a state-qualifying event for that category.
At the area contest, the Burnet FFA range team of Coen Champeau, Coyt Barrow, Helaina Weiss, Riley Arrington, Blair Gililland, Carter Boston, and Grayson Clark finished third. In range judging, students evaluate a pasture based on the plants and ecosystem and how it rates for cattle grazing.
In the homesite judging contest, the Burnet team of Samantha Burton, Jackson Drozd, Cierra Blunt-Culpepper, Enrique Montalvo, Haylie Bartlett, James Leon, and Cayden Beatty finished second. Homesite judging students evaluate a piece of land for how suitable it is for building a home.
Burnet FFA’s land team consisting of Jaxon Eason, Ainsley Goehring, Karley Denton, and Jordon Erickson also finished second at the area contest. In the land judging, students evaluate a piece of land for its agriculture use such as crop farming and grazing.
The plant identification team of Rhett Murray, Drake Milan, Connor Cokendolpher, Kori Haile, and Coralyn Everett finished fifth at the competition.
While many areas hold their judging contests in the spring, Area 7 is one of two in Texas that competes in the fall. Wigington said the teams get a little break in the fall and winter but will get back to work in late winter and early spring in preparation for the Texas FFA state career development event competitions April 28, 2022, at Tarleton State University in Stephenville.
If they do well at state, he added, the Burnet FFA teams could qualify for the national contest. While the students get a bit of time off for the career development events, they are still hard at work on leadership development events, which compete in November.