Amber Robinson Contributing writer
The last weekend in February saw 4-Her’s converging on Virginia Tech to compete in the Block and Bridle Stockmen’s and the Livestock Judging Contests. Craig County youth have been practicing through the winter months to prepare for this contest.
Morgan Beane, Jenna Bostic, Claire Deplazes, Maggie Huffman, Mason Huffman and Ashlyn Keen all competed in both the Stockmen’s and the Livestock Judging competitions. Ashlyn, Claire and Mason composed the Junior Stockmen’s team and Jenna, Maggie, and Morgan made up the Senior team.
Claire placed in the top 20 in the quiz and identification portion and the judging and questions portion. Mason was the ninth highest individual in judging and questions and twenty-fifth overall out of 187 individual competitors. Claire was the twelfth highest placing overall individual. These high placings boosted the team into the top 20 for quiz and identification, fifth in judging and questions, and tenth overall out of 49 teams.
In the Livestock Judging Contest, the Juniors and Seniors were given the option to compete as advanced Juniors or Seniors. This meant that in addition to judging the classes and answering questions about the classes, they would also give oral reasons. Advanced Juniors gave reasons on two classes and the advanced seniors gave four sets of reasons. Claire Deplazes competed in the Junior Advanced division where she placed in the top 20 with cattle classes and giving reasons.
She was also in the top 25 for judging sheep and finished as the sixteenth highest overall individual out of 54 competitors. Morgan Beane competed in the Senior Advanced division where she finished in the top 25 in questions. Mason and Ashlyn both competed as Juniors. Ashlyn finished in the top 20 with swine classes. Mason was fifth in swine, sixth in sheep, and in the top 15 in questions. Maggie and Jenna both competed as Seniors in a large field of 132 individuals.
The Block and Bridle Contests continue to grow with the number of individuals and teams participating each year increasing. Competition is tough with both 4-H and FFA members jockeying for top honors. We are very proud of the work and effort that Craig County 4-H youth, parents, and coaches put in to competing. The next competition is the State Stockmen’s competition in April in conjunction with the Virginia Beef Expo at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds in Harrisonburg.