W.Va. High School Team, Students Win National Contests

May 18, 2007

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Future Farmers of America team from Ravenswood High School and a Barbour County student have won national awards in the 56th annual National Land and Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma City.  

Ravenswood captured both the FFA Land Judging contest and the FFA Homesite Evaluation event. The team, coached by Jason Miihback, included students Derrick Dillon, Jash Hafer, Michell Baldwin and Jonathan Fletcher. They scored 750 points to edge out Oklahoma for the land judging title. Dillion also was the top individual scorer in the event with 278 points.  

In the homesite event, Ravenswood scored 1,101 points with Dillon again the top individual scorer with 381 points. More than 170 teams of teen FFA and 4-H members competed in the recent contest. The idea of a land judging contest was invented by three Oklahoma conservationists in 1942. They decided which soil qualities could be judged and developed score cards to test skills. The idea caught on and Oklahoma City has been hosting the national contest since 1952. Skills tested at the contest involve principles that can be valuable in career fields like environmental and agricultural management, natural resource conservation, home building and construction. The 4-H and FFA participating teams qualified for the national event by placing among the top five teams at contests held in their home states. The teams match skills in judging the adaptability of land for various purposes including farming, range management and homesite construction.  

Jason Grubb from Marion County also placed seventh in the individual land judging category with a score of 252 and third in homesite with a score of 370. Heather Hart, a 4-H entrant from Philippi, placed first in the individual homesite evaluation category.  

The Marion County land judging team, coached by Larry Watson, was recognized as the Northeast Regional Champion. The recognition goes to the highest placing team that does not place first or second overall.  

Additional results are posted at www.landjudging.com  

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