Aurora 4-H and FFA members competed in the 20th Annual Mid-America Grassland Evaluation Contest Held in Springfield on June 4-5. The Aurora 4-H members placed first and were recognized as the 4-H National Champions. The Aurora FFA members finished in fourth place. The teams competed in one of the top grassland contests in the Midwest.
Representing the Aurora 4-H team were Madison Hartwigsen, Caitlyn Kaye, Elizabeth Martin and Riley Pope. Martin finished as the First High Individual, Pope was Second High Individual, Kaye was Fourth High Individual, and Hartwigsen was Ninth High Individual in the 4-H division. Representing the Aurora FFA team were Kensie Darst, Kaylin Francisco, Jacob Johnson and Ethan Mooneyham. In addition, Johnson and Mooneyham tied for sixth high individual in the FFA Division.
Members of the Aurora FFA and 4-H teams tested their individual and team skills against other teams from Arkansas, West Virginia and Missouri. The teams consisted of 4-H and FFA, competing for High Scoring Team and Individual Awards. The high school contestants rotated through the four areas of judging; soil interpretation, plant identification, wildlife habitat and grassland condition. The contestants were given 25 minutes at each of the sites to answer various questions.
The Grassland Evaluation Contest is a joint effort between the Missouri Department of Conservation, University Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. This contest would not be possible without the additional sponsors, which include Missouri Forage and Grassland Council/Missouri Grazing Lands Coalition Initiative; NRCS; MDC; Farm Bureau; MFA, Inc.; Soil and Water Conservation Districts; and the Department of National Resources, Soil and Water Conservation Program.