Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Claire Strickland takes top individual honors in the 54rd Annual Manatee Land Judging Competition

Claire Strickland with award presenter Dan West.
Taking top honors in the 54th annual land judging competition sponsored by the Manatee River Soil and Water Conservation District was senior 4-H student Claire Strickland. She won the I.H. Stewart Award with the highest individual overall score, reports Gail Cameron Somodi, soil conservation supervisor for Manatee County Government. The top award was sponsored by ECo Consultants.

The 4-H senior team composed of Claire Strickland, Jesse West, Samuel West, and Benjamin Hoffner won the Callon Keen, Sr. Award for the team with the highest score overall. The team also won the senior 4-H division.  In second place, was the team composed of Hannah Whitaker, Casey Wingate, Westin Maye, and Joshua Groover.

The intermediate 4-H team including Shelby Bryan, Janna Groover, Jo Hoffner, and Jay West, placed first in the 4-H intermediate division.  

Placing first in the FFA high school division was a team from Southeast High School, advised by Mike Buckley, with students Kenan Alemhoca, Isabel Cushing, Colt Travis, and Jasmine Villegas.

Placing second was the FFA high school team from Southeast High School, advised by Mike Buckley, with students Luis Solorzano, Jaimie Davis, Samantha Lockhart and McKayla

The FFA high school team from Braden River High School placed third, advised by Deb Barry with students Meagan Gigliotti, Christine King, and Emily Courson.

Buffalo Creek Middle School swept the middle school FFA division. Placing first at the middle school level was the team of John Greer, Caissy Chase, Savannah Cannon, and Camrie Henderson. The second place team, included students Zach Stolze, Faith Gilray, Jade Parrish, and Hannah Hattaway.  In third place, were Mara Behringer, Chloe Flourney, Alexis Orloski, and Sorryl Cannon. Steve Harber, advised all Buffalo Creek FFA students.

Medals were awarded to the high scoring individual at each of four fields.  This year, Claire Strickland was recognized for the highest score (perfect) at two of the four fields in the senior division.  Luis Solorzano and Jasmine Villegas, from Southeast also scored highest at the 3rd and 4th fields, respectively. Villegas had a perfect score at the 4th field.  Junior division winners, both from Buffalo Creek Middle School, were Fields 1, 2, and 3:  John Greer and Field 4: Camrie Henderson.

FFA teams from Haile and Nolan Middle Schools and Palmetto High School also competed. Participating as guests were Charlotte, Pinellas and Orange FFA students. In all, 83 students competed, resulting in one of the largest turnouts in recent years.

The winning FFA teams from Southeast High School, Buffalo Creek Middle School, and the intermediate and senior 4-H teams are eligible to compete in the state land judging competition to be held in late March hosted by the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The competition was held at Ed Chance Reserve-Gilley Creek Tract, a Southwest Florida Water Management District property, on one of the coldest days of the year. Students answered test questions concerning soil properties at four fields in such categories as slope, depth, texture, permeability, erosion and nutrients. One of the fields represented a potential homesite location, and students were questioned on how well the land could serve as a building site.

For more information visit http://landjudging.org/

4-H intermediate team: Shelby Bryan, Janna Groover, Jo Hoffner and Jay West.

4-H Senior Team.

FFA team from Southeast High School.

Students examining one of the fields in the land judging competition.

Chief Judge Juan Vega explains the results of the competition to the students.

FFA team from Buffalo Creek Middle School team.

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