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Roughly 700 students compete for agricultural awards

By John Miller, 02/11/22 6:36 PM

PRESCOTT – Around 700 students from across the state descended on the Nevada County Fairgrounds Friday morning to compete in a series of agricultural events.

Stacy Stone, county agent for the Nevada County Extension Service, said this will include 4-H and FFA students and is being put on by the Extension Service.

The students will compete in a variety of agriculture-related events, all vying for individual honors, team honors and the Sweepstakes Award for the school winning the most points. Stone said the students will compete in dairy food contests, electricity, forestry, horse judging, land judging, livestock, poultry and veterinary science. At this time, the livestock division has the most entries with 151, and there will college students from the University of Arkansas, the University of Minnesota and Eastern Oklahoma State College. This event will be held at the OYEA facility at Prescott High School with Dennis Guidry, Dr. Bryan Kutz and Lauren Priddy in charge. Animals will be provided from the OYEA program, RPS ranch, Rolling Hills Farm, SWREC, Stone livestock, PHFF and Plyler and Son Charolais.

Contests will be held throughout the area including: the EHC building, arts and crafts building, rodeo arena, Ed and Mary Godwin property, Southwest Arkansas Research and Extension Center, beef barn and the Potlatch Building. For those not familiar with land judging, a six-foot pit is dug with students judging the striations of the soil, much like the study of ice cores from the polar ice caps. It is also similar to archaeological digs, only no relics are being sought, though a knowledge of the past, where soil is concerned, is. Trees were judged on approximated height and width.

Students in the electric competition had to identify different items used in electricity, design a wiring plan and wire up switches. Livestock, including horses, sheep, goats and pigs, were judged at the OYEA farm at Prescott High School, while horse judging was done in the rodeo arena.

Once things kicked off, the competition heated up in a heartbeat. Some students were taken to the UA Extension Center for land judging, while others were taken to the Godwin farm to judge trees

Lunch was provided by Farm Credit, while the Prescott School District provided buses to transport the students to the different locations for competition. Members of Farm Credit cooked 800 hamburgers for the visitors, while the concession stand was open and a hospitality room provided respite for the adults. Leftover cookies, doughnuts and water were to the students at the end of the day.

Bemis Filed was used as parking for buses.

Schools participating are: Alma, Ashdown, Beebe, Bismarck, Jonesboro Westside, Bradley, Clinton, DeQueen, Ouachita, Foreman, Fouke, Farmington, Greenbrier, Hampton, Heber Springs, Hermitage, Hope, Horatio, Mena, Drew Central, Mt. Ida, Murfreesboro, Magnolia, Prescott, Quitman, Rose bud, Sheridan, Texarkana, Cossatot River, Crossett, Centerpoint, Glen Rose, Dierks, Acorn, Smackover, Dover, Mayflower, Jessieville, Mountain Pine, Greene County Tech, Greene County, Nevada County Polk County and White County. DeQueen is sending the largest number of students at 46.

Stone said he would like to make this an annual event and add a division for college students next year if the interest is there.