LPS students grow knowledge at major FFA, land judging events

Lincoln Public Schools students produced positive results this spring when they attended major FFA and land judging activities.
Students from The Career Academy took part in the State FFA Convention and the National Land and Range Judging Contest. State FFA events happened in Lincoln and land judging activities took place in Oklahoma.

State FFA Convention

TCA students joined more than 7,000 FFA members, advisors and guests during the state conference. They participated in competitive events, took educational tours and leadership workshops, attended general sessions and listened to motivational speakers. Activities took place at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Haymarket-area hotels and University of Nebraska-Lincoln East Campus.
Austin Kamm, Johanna Roux, Sapphire Guzman, Isabel Cressler, Kennedy Bahm, Chloe Inbody and Chase Dubas all won state awards in FFA leadership development events.

Kamm and Roux highlighted TCA’s trip by finishing second in the agricultural demonstration contest. They created a project on drip irrigation management and presented their findings to a panel of judges.

Bahm, Inbody and Dubas created a project on wise landscape management for the agricultural demonstration contest. Cressler delivered a presentation about prairie management for the natural resource speaking contest, and Guzman represented TCA in the employment skills category.

State FFA Leadership Development Events Results

Employment Skills – Sapphire Guzman – Silver Medal
Natural Resources Speaking – Isabel Cressler – Silver Medal
Agricultural Demonstration – Kennedy Bahm, Chloe Inbody, Chase Dubas – Silver Medal
Agricultural Demonstration – Austin Kamm, Johanna Roux – Gold Medal (State Runner-Up)

National Land and Range Judging Contest

Cressler, Guzman, Roux and Parker Smith turned their national dreams into reality when they traveled to the Canadian County Expo Center in El Reno, Okla. More than 700 students from across the country took part in events near Oklahoma City.
TCA qualified for nationals after finishing fifth of 46 Nebraska teams at the state land judging contest last October. Cressler earned second place in individual standings at state and Smith finished fifth. It marked the first time TCA students qualified for nationals.

Teams took part in 4-H and FFA divisions at the national contest. TCA finished 47th of 99 teams in the FFA division with 559 points. Blue River Valley FFA of Indiana claimed the FFA title with 760 points. Grady (Texas) FFA finished second with 734 points.
Thousands of students participate in land judging contests in their home states each year. The activity’s goal is for them to understand soil structure of different land parcels. They learn how to recognize physical features of the soil and determine land capability for crop production. They also evaluate what management and stewardship practices landowners should take.

Students used evaluation cards to judge four soil pits during the national contest. They assessed surface and subsurface texture, soil depth, potential for erosion and surface runoff and the permeability and slope of each land plot. They also determined what vegetation could grow on the land, what fertilizer would work best on each plot and what conservation methods would be suitable.
Judges rated each student’s evaluation card to determine individual and team scores in each division. More than 300 students collected individual scores in the FFA land judging contest. Roux led TCA with a 65th-place mark of 211 points. Smith received a score of 178 points, Guzman tallied 170 points and Cressler posted 136 points.
Cressler, Guzman, Roux and Smith also met multiple state and national conservation leaders during their trip to Oklahoma. National Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne Arthur and Oklahoma State Conservationist Jeanne Hamilton all spoke to students during an awards ceremony.
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Published: June 21, 2024, Updated: June 21, 2024

From left, The Career Academy students Sapphire Guzman, Isabel Cressler, Johanna Roux and Parker Smith stand at the National Land and Range Judging Contest in El Reno, Okla. They competed against 98 other teams in the FFA division of the national contest. They also met multiple state and national conservation leaders during their trip to Oklahoma. Many TCA students also earned awards at this spring’s State FFA Convention.