For the third time in four years, the Banks FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Team has earned top honors by placing first at the State FFA Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. Banks now gets to represent Oregon at the National Dairy Cattle Evaluation Career Development Event this coming October at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
On Monday, Banks FFA was among about 20 teams from around the state to descend on the Oregon State University Dairy Research Center for an afternoon of evaluating dairy cattle. The event consists of evaluating six classes of live heifers and cows based on current industry standards, evaluating the genetic merit of two more classes of animals, then giving two sets of oral reasons, where the student orally describes the class and defends their placing to a judge. Even if a student does not planning pursuing a career in the dairy industry, the skills gained through participation in this event will benefit them for the rest of their life.
Banks FFA has developed quite a reputation for dairy cattle judging over the past few years. After winning the state contest in the early 90s, Banks FFA took a 15-year hiatus from dairy judging, and then started a team back up in 2007. In 2007, the team placed 8th at the state contest, and started a tradition of success that continues today. The following year in 2008, Banks dairy judging team placed first at the state level, then went on to place 15th at the national level. They followed that success with a first place finish in 2009, and a second place finish in 2010.
Along with the first place team performance this year, four members placed in the top 10 individually. Eric Evers placed first overall, Mathias Schmidlkofer placed 7th, Gerritt Schmidlkofer placed 9th, & Stefani Evers placed 10th. The team will be working hard this summer and next fall to prepare for the national contest in October.