After months of preparation, six FFA members — freshman Nissa Olsen; sophomores Corinne Withroder and Erica Boyer; junior Hunter Boyer; and seniors Jacoby Kerr and Payton Day — took second overall in the North Central District competition in Ellsworth.
“This contest requires a lot of preparation,” club sponsor Elissa Mullinix said. “Students gain critical thinking skills, the ability to evaluate information [and] to think objectively … to make a decision … based on fact.”
At the contest, there was a USDA yield and quality grading section and a retail identification section. Through these categories, participants identified retail cuts, determined where the meat originated from as well as the meat can be cooked and ranked meat for quality.
“What I learned is … how to grade beef,” Kerr said. “It makes you a little picky when you’re at the store looking at steak and pork chops. It’s just like ‘you know that’s okay, but it’s not as good as this one.’”
As a team, Manhattan FFA placed second, with an individual winner, Day, taking fourth overall. This week, the chapter is celebrating FFA week with lunchtime activities — including agriculture trivia — in addition to a club potluck last night.
“It’s a time that we get together and celebrate the fact that FFA is a part of all of our lives,” Kerr said. “FFA is not just for farmers or ranchers, it’s anyone and everyone conjoined … I think it’s important to celebrate the people who help make ag[riculture], ag[riculture].”