Judges in Blue

TRACY AREA HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR PARKER LEMBURG takes a close look at an insect at last Thursday’s FFA Region VI CDE Contest in Tracy. Photos / Per Peterson

TAHS FFA students put their knowledge to the test at last week’s Region VI CDE Contest

By Per Peterson

WILL ALF, a senior at Tracy Area High School, was one of nine TAHS FFAers who took part in last week’s Region VI CDE Contest.

Would you know a jumping mouse from a house mouse? How about a crane fly from a robber fly?

Dozens of area FFA students — including nine from Tracy Area High School — descended on Tracy last Thursday to make such distinctions at the Region VI Career Development Events (CDE) Contest, with hopes of advancing to state competition.

“This is the real deal before state convention,” said TAHS ag teacher and FFA advisor Elizabeth Johnson. “Six of the teams advance to state.”

Tracy Area High School’s Fish and Wildlife team of Parker Lemburg, Will Alf, Trenton Johnson, Raleigh Janssen, Tanner Hauger, Austin Lichty and Mavrick Snyder finished in 15th place, and the Small Animal team — Payton Daniels and Rylee Schmidt — finished 18th.

The fish and wildlife portion of last week’s regional contest took place at the high school, while the small animals and vet science portion was at The Caboose. All species the students needed to identify are native to Minnesota. Each student was given a long list of various species — birds (non-game and game), insects, reptiles/amphibians, fish and mammals —  and 10 of each were displayed for the contest.

Besides being tasked with identifying everything from animals to insects, FFAers from around the region also had to take an intensive, 50-point multiple-choice exam with a variety of random questions pertaining to wildlife. A team activity is another facet of the regional competition.

“Sometimes, the kids get very stressed,” said Johnson. “It’s good to push them. They can do it, they just need to take their time.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.