TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville FFA members have been working extremely hard practicing their livestock judging skills in preparation for several contests throughout the United States, Illinois, and invitational Contests. Livestock judging contests require students to evaluate cattle, sheep, swine, and goats, and then present oral reasons defending their decisions. “In the Taylorville FFA Chapter we always like to keep life busy,” said FFA advisor Katie King. “It feels like we always have something to do and somewhere to go, but I would not change that for anything.”
In late January the THS FFA Team won the Geneseo Invitational. The team accomplished this feat by winning the swine division, sheep division, and goat division. Lizzie Schafer was also named High Individual Overall in the event. Drew Mickey also placed 3rd and Waylon Paulek was 4th overall. Other THS FFA team members are Audrey Curtin, Liam Steward, Cole Paulek, Ben Wamsley, Chloe Grant, and Jay Bliler.
“I think that what separates our team from others is our ability to continuously work,” Taylorville FFA President Lizzie Schafer said. “The amount of concentration and time this team puts into preparing for every contest never ceases to amaze me.”
A few weeks later, this team headed to Nebraska and Iowa for a big weekend of competitive livestock judging contests. The first event for the team was the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic held in Kearney, NE. In the Intermediate Division the team swept the contest by winning reasons, placings, feedlot cattle, and was named the High Team O verall. Several team members received individual awards. Liam Steward led the way by placing 2nd in placings, 3rd in reasons, and was named the High Individual O verall of the Intermediate Contest. Waylon Paulek was named the Reserve Champion O verall by winning reasons and feedlot cattle. Audrey Curtin placed 2nd in reasons, 6th in placings, and 5th overall. Freshmen Ben Wamsley placed 7th in reasons and Chloe Grant was 8th O verall and 10th in placings. The Senior Team did extremely well by winning reasons, feedlot cattle, and the O verall Senior Contest. Cole Paulek led the way by placing 4th overall, 3rd in reasons, and 6th in placings. Lizzie Schafer had a good day by winning feedlot cattle, placing 2nd in reasons, and 6th overall. Drew Mickey placed 8th overall and 10th in reasons, while Jay Bliler placed 15th overall in the event.
“I was so excited to see all of my hard work pay off this weekend in Nebraska,” said Taylorville FFA Greenhand Officer Liam Steward. “My team always pushes me to be the best that I can be and I certainly cherish all of the memories made.”
In Des Moines, Iowa, the team continued their winning streak by sweeping the Iowa Beef Expo. This was accomplished when the team finished first in placings, first in reasons, and first overall. Cole Paulek was 2nd high individual overall, won reasons, and was 9th in placings. Drew Mickey placed 5th in reasons, 11th in placings, and was 3rd overall. Waylon Paulek was 5th high individual overall, 10th in reasons, and 6th in placings. Lizzie Schafer placed 2nd in reasons and 8th overall. The other Taylorville team placed 5th in the Beef Expo Event, was 6th in reasons, and 6th in placings. Audrey Curtin was 5th high individual overall, 7th in reasons, and 5th in placings. Other team members were Jay Bliler, Ben Wamsley, Chloe Grant, and Liam Steward.
“This team practices every week and most of these kids give practice reasons daily before and after school or during lunch. In order to determine who judges on each team, point totals are kept and students work extremely hard to earn their spots” said advisor Sue Schafer. “I am very proud of these students for not only being talented livestock judges, but also for being excellent students and community servants.”
After being named Reserve Champions at the National Western RoundUp in Denver, CO, this team really took off. This team has put in many hours of hard work and effort to achieve this outstanding national success and will be representing the United States at the world competition this summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.
CHRISTIAN COUNTY — The THS FFA put in a winning performance at the winter shows. Shown front row left to right-Chloe Grant, Waylon Paulek, Liam Steward, Lizzie Schafer, Drew Mickey, Emma Pistorious (CC4-H Team Member) Back row: Cole Paulek, Ben Wamsley, Audrey Curtin, Jay Bliler