The Annual Youth Forage Contest was held at the Austin County Fair on Friday, October 6th. This event is sponsored by Austin County Beef & Forage Committee utilizing hay samples submitted for the Hay
Show. Youth apply their knowledge of various forage species to evaluate hay based on physical properties and identify species common to pastures. The forage event embodies the very basis of real-world application. The youth take the information learned and apply it directly to forage production, which is foundational to the state’s highly significant livestock industry.

There are 3 components to the contest. The first is placing the hay sample classes, which are judged based on physical ranking, maturity, texture, leafiness, purity (free of foreign material), and color. The next component is plant identification which consists of 20 native grasses, legumes, and weeds. The last component is a 20-question knowledge exam on forages. Dr. Robert Lane with Sam Houston State University was the judge for the Hay Show classes. After the contest, he walked the youth through the entries and explained why he placed the classes as he did.  There were both team and individual award presentations, along with a $1,000 scholarship for the
highest-ranking graduating senior.

This year’s winners were:

  • 1st Place Team: Bellville FFA 4th Place Team: Columbus FFA
  • 2nd Place Team: Rusk FFA 5th Place Team: Burton FFA
  • 3rd Place Team: Flatonia FFA
  • 4th Place Team:  Columbus FFA
  • 5th Place Team:  Burton FFA

Individual Placings:

  • 1st Place: Lauren Lassus, Bellville FFA *High Point Graduating Senior, receiving a $1,000
    Scholarship from the Austin County Beef & Forage Committee
  • 2nd Place: Paden Mulholland, Flatonia FFA
  • 3rd Place: Kash Kruger, Bellville FFA
  • 4th Place: Jack Luedeker, Bellville FFA
  • 5th Place: Wesley Martin, Rusk FFA
  • 6th Place: Jackson Kinney, Rusk FFA
  • 7th Place: Jase Rau, Columbus FFA
  • 8th Place: Grant Walling, Bellville FFA
  • 9th Place: James Schumann, Bellville FFA
  • 10th Place: Cooper Hollomon, Belville FFA

Congratulations to all who participated in the contest. We had a total of 37 youth in the contest from Bellville, Brazos, Burton, Columbus, Flatonia, and Rusk FFAs.

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