Competition in Indianapolis follows team's state win in May
Improving on their win at the state level in May, the Banks High School FFA dairy cattle judging team earned a national title at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Oct. 21.
At an awards banquet that evening, the students and their advisor, Tim Eggleston, learned they'd placed 12th out of 43 schools, earning Banks a Gold Team Award.
On the individual side, Eric Evers and Mitchell Evers both earned Gold Awards, placing 31st and 37th, respectively, out of 166 participants.
LeeAnn Pallett and Mathias Schmidlkofer both earned Individual Silver Awards, and Stefani Evers took home a Silver Award for her participation in the Dairy Handlers Contest.
This marks Banks FFA's highest placing in a national contest, noted Eggleston, who teaches agricultural science and technology at the high school.
It was all part of the 84th National FFA Convention.
The local team started competing Oct. 19 by evaluating dairy herd records, sorting through dairy sire genetic data, looking at dairy pedigrees and taking a general dairy information knowledge test.
The following day, team members evaluated six classes of live cows, performed a linear evaluation on five animals and gave oral defenses of their placings in the live animal classes.
'As the dairy handler, it was Stefani's responsibility to show several of the animals used in the contest,' Eggleston noted, adding that the team 'did not let the bitter cold temperatures and brisk Indiana wind slow them down.'
The top six individuals and the national winning team members received scholarships to further their education at a post-secondary institution of their choice. Across the country, there are 7,487 FFA chapters in all 50 states, including 523,309 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.