High school agriculture students from across Southwest Colorado competed in the National FFA Organization Range Judging and Plant Identification workshop held on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the Pueblo Community College Southwest Campus east of Cortez.
This youth educational event was sponsored by the Colorado State University Extension in Montezuma County, the Mancos and High Desert Conservation Districts, Pueblo Community College Southwest and the Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management. The event was hosted by the Dolores FFA Chapter.
This rangeland educational youth event involved 35 agriculture students representing four FFA chapters. The participating teams were Dolores, Ignacio, Dove Creek and Bayfield. The Bayfield FFA Chapter was awarded First Place Gold Team. Students were required to identify 20 range plant species and one ecological site.
Matt Barns, of Shining Horizons Land Management, gave a presentation about the concerns and issues surrounding wolf reintroduction in Colorado. The students gained special knowledge about how proper rangeland management and livestock handling techniques can be used to reduce livestock losses caused by predators.
The Range Judging Contest is one of many FFA Career Development Events agriculture students can participate in to test their skills and knowledge learned through their agricultural education classes.