By Pam Dudding Contributing writer
Craig County is known for its hand in the field of agriculture and students at Craig County High School are benefiting from their FFA class.
The CCHS Future Farmers of America (FFA) is proud to announce that their students entered major competitions and came back with good placings in their wins.
Emily Nolen, Agriculture Teacher & FFA Advisor at Craig County High School, shared, “The FFA accomplishments of our CCHS Livestock Judging Team here at the school, brings nothing but grit, determination and success.”
Their recent competitions showed their skills in Abingdon and Blacksburg.
“We competed in the Southwest Virginia Stockmen’s Competition and the Block and Bridle Livestock Judging Competition,” Nolen shared.
She was proud to announce the winners of SWVA included Craig County students.
“The Junior A Team consisted of Carter Calfee, Makenzie Lucas and Brooke Beers,” she said. “They finished in the top five, with a fourth place overall finish. Carter Calfee placed in the top ten individual category.”
In the B & B (Block and Bridle), Alex Drake placed 19th overall and Chasity Wolfe placed 21st overall.
“This competition was statewide and had over 250 contestants at the senior level,” Nolen proudly shared.
“In order for a student to be a part of the livestock judging and stockmen’s competitions and teams, they must understand the integral components of raising livestock such as the anatomy and structure of an animal, identify feeds, breeds, and equipment used on the animal,” she explained. “They also evaluate products such as the hay the animal consumes and end-products such as meats.”
Nolen also noted that the students prepare by working on quiz questions, practicing identification and working on team problems.
“The teams are working hard and preparing for their next opportunity in Rockingham County on March 29,” she added. “They will compete in a Skillathon contest which is essentially looking at the same things.”
Nolen is excited about how the progress of the schools Land Lab is finally coming to a reality, with the help of great community members and students putting in much of the manual labor.
“Once the Land Lab is up and running, the students will have live animals on site that will allow them to get first-hand experience at identifying important traits in regard to beef cattle as well as identify a structurally-sound animal,” Nolen said.
She noted that the students have placed emphasis on the understanding of the livestock industry and how this competition has helped them recognize the ag industry around them.
On May 7, the Craig County High School FFA and Ag Program students in conjunction with the Craig County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and Young Farmer Committee will hold a Land Lab Ag Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the high school.
Their hopes are to have demos running throughout the day, though not totally confirmed yet, but in the works will be, police dog, drone flying, horse shoeing, ATV safety, beekeeping, sheep, and pigs. They plan to have an area where you can see truck and farm equipment and be able to touch and climb on them.
There will be a crafters and vendors row with a variety of crafts and products for sale and we will have a yard sale section for the thrifty shopper. They will have a crafters row as part of the fair and are looking for vendors!
Booths are $25 with all proceeds from the booth fees going to support the Land Lab.
For more information, email [email protected] for a registration form and additional details about this event that will make a fun day and help to support our youth in Craig.