Horse Judging team heads to nationals
Along with Molalla FFA's Ag Issues team members who already earned their berth to the national competition, now another Molalla FFA team will join them in Indianapolis, Indiana this fall.
The Horse Judging Team, coached by Danell Blair, placed first in the state of Oregon at the State CDE Days that took place at Oregon State University on May 6-7. The team now heads to nationals to compete alongside all of the other state champion teams.
"The Molalla FFA chapter has a long history of excellence in this contest and many students have gone on to receive full-ride scholarships to college for horse judging," said Molalla FFA Adviser Mackenzie Behrle. "I am sure many of these team members have this to look forward to as well."
The members of that team are Kelsey Morgan, who earned 1st high individual in the contest; Kylene Eaglebear, 2nd high; Shelby Nunn, 5th high; Chloe Corless, 10th high; and Emma King.
The contest includes a 50-question team knowledge test covering the equine industry. Then, students evaluate three performance classes and three confirmation classes, ranking the horses 1-4.
"I started horse judging my sophomore year and it has been one of the most influential parts of my high school career and it has shaped me into the person I am today," Morgan said. "My team and adviser push me to be the best and I wouldn't be where I am today without them. I know my team and I are all blessed for the experience we have received through horse judging and I can't wait to compete at a national level in horse judging."
Another team also did well at the CDE Days. Molalla's Ag Communications team, coached by Behrle, won second in state. Those team members are Natalee Litchfield, who earned 2nd high individual in the contest; Dominica Burkhoff, 5th; David Fregoso, 7th and Clay Sperl.
This is a journalism contests wherein members must submit a communications plan and give a 15-minute presentation about the plan, followed by five minutes of questions.
Molalla's plan highlighted North Clackamas FFA chapter and how those members could help close the rural/urban divide.
In this contest, students also attend a press conference where they take notes and ask questions, and with that information, students complete a practicum including newspaper article writing, opinion writing, website design and video production.
"Personally, Ag Communications is my favorite contest," Litchfield said. "It's such an amazing opportunity to grow a variety of skills, whether it's speaking, writing, teamwork or stress management. I think it has played a large role in my interest in journalism. Getting close to my team is something I am thankful for. I love them all so much."