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Cloudland’s FFA has no beef with Fair results – Teams earn Appalachian Fair honors, including a first place

Published 10:55am Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teams of Cloudland High School students took home honors from the Appalachian Fair as part of the Future Farmers of America cattle judging events.
Each year, the Appalachian Fair hosts Beef Judging and Dairy Judging events for the local FFA chapters.
“This year, one of our teams placed first in Beef Judging out of over 40 teams and another team also placed fifth in Dairy Judging out of 30-plus teams,” said Lauren Jaynes Turbyfill, the agriculture teacher and FFA adviser at Cloudland High School. She said in addition to those finishes, Cloudland High also had several other teams that placed in the rankings as well as individual students who earned high honors.
Kelsey Reed placed ninth and Courtney Russell took 10th place in Beef Judging out of more than 150 contestants, and T.J. Davis placed seventh in Dairy Judging out of more than 120 contestants.
“In previous years, our highest placing had been 2nd place in Beef, and last year we placed 4th in Dairy,” Turbyfill said.
Students from FFA chapters across East Tennessee gathered at the show arenas at the Appalachian Fair to take part in these events, Turbyfill said.
The Beef Judging event was held on Aug. 18. In that event, students observe three “classes” of cattle and each class contains four animals, Turbyfill said.
“Students must determine which animal is the best quality based on many factors, such as conformation, bone structure, muscling, depth of barrel, overall size of the animal, etc.,” she said, adding students must rank the animals from best to least desirable.
The student’s rankings are then compared and the scoring determined by the official judge and students are scored out of 50, with 50 being the highest score.
“Several of our students received 50 points, placing the cattle exactly as the judge,” Turbyfill said.
The Dairy Judging event was held on Aug. 22.
It’s a similar format, but what the students look for is different, Turbyfill said.
“In Dairy Judging, 40 percent of what is to be examined is the udders,” she said.
Dairy animals are, by nature, thin-looking — meaning their structural components are more visible, Turbyfill said, adding dairy animals should have wide spacing of the ribs, a wide rump which is indicative of birthing abilities and must also have to appear “feminine” in their head, neck and muzzle.
Turbyfill said she is pleased with the showing by the Cloudland teams at the Appalachian Fair and is excited by the potential her students have shown.
“The Cloudland FFA Chapter is growing exponentially, and even with great quantity, great quality is evident in these students,” Turbyfill said. “Students are more dedicated than they have ever been, and showing great strides in competitiveness and sharing responsibilities.”

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