The FFA range judging events have been scheduled for fall as follows:
Northeast CO Regional at Prairie School on Sept. 16; hosted by the New Raymer FFA Chapter; sponsored by the West Greeley Conservation District; registration at 7:45 a.m.; contest begins at 8:30 a.m.
Southeast CO Regional at Branson School on Sept. 18; hosted by the Branson FFA Chapter; co-sponsored by the Branson-Trinchera and the Spanish Peaks Purgatoire River Conservation districts; registration at 7:45 a.m.; contest begins at 8:45 a.m.
Eastern CO State at Seibert Community Center on Oct. 2; co-hosted by the High Plains (Seibert), Stratton, Flagler, and Burlington FFA chapters; co-sponsored by the Burlington and Flagler Conservation Districts; registration at 7:45 a.m.; contest begins at 8:45 a.m.
Emmett Jordan has made the contacts regarding the northeast regional. For the folks listed regarding the southeast regional and state events, contact Ben Berlinger regarding your status to help. Berlinger may be reached at 200 S. 10th St., Rocky Ford, CO 81067, 719-254-7672, ext. 118 (office) or 719-469-3895 (cell); Ben.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposed proctors for Northeast region: Hailey Wilmer, Will Owsley, Gerald Gregory, Nakayla Lestina (program leaders not included).
Tentative volunteers for Southeast region: Maral Howell; proctors: Site #1: Lori Brown, Kim Peters, Tony Amhold; Site #2 Ryan Parker, Kelsey Price, Annie Overlin; Plant ID Beginner, Lee Hollingsworth; Plant ID Advanced, Sharron Pattee’ transportation coordination and running scorecards in from field, Carolyn Rogers; Grading Scorecards: Natalie Edmonson, supervisor; Ryan Hytry, Kimberly Diller, Laura Craven, Kiesha Brenner, Carolyn Rogers; photography: Andrea Leininger; Awards: Ingrid Hofmeister.
Tentative volunteers for Eastern Colorado State FFA Range Judging: registration table: Steve Poet, Cory Wedel, High Plains Ag students; proctors: Site #1, Julie Elliott, Nakayla Lestina; Site #2, Josh Sunders, Gerald Gregory; Plant ID Beginner, Kristi Gay; Plant ID Advanced, Will Owsley. Transportation coordination and running scorecards from field: Mike Slack, Justin Stephen; Grading scorecards: Matt Pollart, Dan Nosal, Jeremy Liechy (rotate to fields to review ecological sites.
Instructions to the Plant Identification Proctors
Some contests will have both a “Beginner” and a “Advanced” plant ID test. The protocol will be the same for either exam.
1. Before the students arrive at the exam site, check that the number labeling each plant is clearly visible and directly in front of the plant. If the container holding the plant has a number label, be sure to turn the can so that it faces away from the student.
2. Have someone help to hand out the plant id scorecard to the students as they arrive.
3. Instruct the students to space themselves so that, as much as possible, there is at least one plant between, without a student by that plant.
4. The plant id exam is “closed book." The only paper on students’ clipboard is the scorecard. (The numbered list of plants is allowed for some beginner exams). All other notebooks, etc.. must be set aside before entering the exam site.
5. Instruct the students that 1 minute will be allowed to identify and determine the plant characteristics of each plant. Each student must move to the next higher numbered plant when the call is made to move.
6. Be sure to mention that it is very important to start recording on the score sheet based on the plant number that corresponds to the same number on the scorecard. In other words, if the first plant in front of the student happens to be #23, that student must begin recording on line #23 on their scorecard.
7. There is no talking during the exam. During the exam any student caught looking at a neighbor’s scorecard will be disqualified from the contest. Therefore, caution students to hold their clipboards to themselves.
8. Congratulate the students on completing the plant id and characteristics exam. Collect the scorecards and give them to a “scorecard runner” who will take them to the grading room.
9. After each round of students complete the test check each plant and its label for proper position to be ready for the next round. (Use the down time to go to the restroom.)
Instructions to the Site Judging Proctors
1. Before getting on the buses, designate a couple of teachers/adults on the bus or traveling to the site to assist with the handing out of the site score card, palatability worksheet, management scenario/site map, and Ecological Site Description (ESD) questions. Bring your packet of hand-out material, soils spade, water bottle for soil texturing, and a few flags.
2. Depart the bus and distribute the handouts. Check to see that the flags marking the plot are still in place. If not, be prepared to reinstall flags.
3. Gather near the middle of the site. Point out the location of the flags to the students. Dig the soil hole and do a quick “how to texture” example, but don’t indicate the soil texture.
4. Mention to the students that the site judging is open-book; use of calculators is allowed; talking is not allowed; cell phones are not to be used; and students must do their own work or be disqualified.
5. Briefly go over the management scenario as the students read along. The scenario will give, along with the current range land management information, the total annual production, number of management practices applicable to the site, and any plant information the students need to know such as a significantly occurring plant that is not on the master plant list. Give the definition of basal cover, plant litter, and bare ground* and demonstrate each. Mention that, for their step-transect, the plant closest to the mark on the toe of their shoe is referenced on the base of the plant, not upper leaves or canopy of the plant. However, for shrubs, the canopy will count to determine if the shrub is the closest plant.
6. Announce the allotted time for the students to judge the site. Allow 40 minutes. Make an announcement when 15 minutes and 5 minutes remain.
7. Collect the score cards as the students bring them to you. Have the students remain on the site until all score cards have been collected. Then direct the students to board the bus. Use the “runner” to send the students score cards back to be graded.
8. Wait for the next bus-load of students to arrive. Use the time to use restrooms.
*Litter is defined as dead plant leaves and stems that are detached from the base of the plant and laying on the soil surface. Bare ground is exposed soil, rock, and moss or lichens.
To do this the students must record if the line-mark on the tip of their shoe is directly on top of the base of a perennial plant or directly on top of a piece of litter or on top of bare ground. Leaves that are bent over do not count as basal hits and the student must look under the leaves to determine one of the two possible choices of litter or bare ground (basal cover doesn’t apply since the leaves of the plant are bent over). Record each step taken, Basal Hits, Litter Hits, Bare Ground Hits in the box at the bottom of the score card. The total of the percent recorded for the three categories (basal hits, litter hits, and bare ground hits) must equal 100%.