Nearly 700 4-H and FFA students and over 200 coaches from over 34 states recently gathered in Oklahoma for the 68th National Land and Range Judging Contest. After two days of practice at sites in the Oklahoma City area, the contest was held near El Reno, Oklahoma, at the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal Headquarters. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and its employees play a significant role annually in the success of the event, as does the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. This year, Matt Lohr, the chief of NRCS, was a special guest at the national event.

The Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts was the primary host along with about 30 additional sponsors.

National championship trophies were awarded at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum to team and individual winners in each category of competition: Land judging, range judging and homesite evaluation. Each category included FFA and 4-H awards.

The national team championship trophies in land judging were awarded to the Tyler FFA Chapter of West Virgina and the North Miami Sr. 4-H Club of Indiana. National individual championship trophies in land judging were awarded to Madison Craven of Tyler FFA Chapter of West Virgina and Gavin Taylor of Monroe County 4-H Club of West Virginia.

The national team championship trophies in range judging were awarded to the Hamilton FFA Chapter of Texas and the Wessington Springs 4-H Club of South Dakota. National individual championship trophies in range judging were awarded to Jessica Brown of Hamilton FFA Chapter of Texas and Noah Hainy of Wessington Springs 4-H Club of South Dakota.

The national team championship trophies for homesite evaluation were awarded to the Hondo FFA Chapter of Texas and the Monroe County 4-H Club of West Virginia. National individual championship trophies were awarded to Cassie Bendele of Hondo FFA Chapter of Texas and Madison Stroud of McCook County 4-H Club of South Dakota.

In the adult category, Trent Trotter of Vian, Oklahoma, won the land judging contest, Eric Kale of Hico, Texas, won the range judging contest and Hunter Smith of Hondo, Texas, won the homesite evaluation contest.

The Oklahoma State University Department of Plant and Soil Science offers a $1,500 scholarship to the top-scoring individual in the land judging contest, and a $1,500 scholarship to the top-scoring individual in the homesite evaluation contest. The winners’ eligibility is contingent upon enrollment at OSU as a plant and soil science major. In addition, if the students have a high school GPA of 3.5 or better and ACT scores of at least 24, OSU will add an additional $1,500 to the scholarship for a total of $3,000.

Kim Farber presented the 2019 National Land and Range Judging Contest Honoree Award to Terry Detrick, a third-generation farmer in northwest Oklahoma who is a second-generation, life-long member of American Farmers and Ranchers/Oklahoma Farmers Union, as well as a past president of the AFR/OFU. Detrick, a life-long friend of agriculture, has been a dedicated supporter of the national event for many years.

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