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Rugby FFA wins range judging

By Staff | Sep 26, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Members of the FFA state champion range judging team from Rugby High School share their awards. From left to right are Dustin Atkinson, Jace Scherr, Kylie Scherr, Josh Pfeifer and Devin Volk. Volk was the individual champion.

For the first time in program history, the Rugby FFA chapter is state champion in range judging. The chapter earned the distinction at the state competition Sept. 19 in Dickinson. The icing on the cake: Rugby High School senior Devin Volk took the individual title, becoming just the second Rugby student to earn the honor. (Zach Rameden won in 2009.)

“I feel great about their effort on Friday,” said Kasey Okke, a first-year agriculture teacher at RHS. “We went down Thursday to the practice site and they were really catching on there. It was an overall great day.”

For team scoring, the top three scores from each chapter are counted. Joining Volk in the top three were classmates Josh Pfeifer and Kylie Scherr. Dustin Atkinson and Jace Scherr also competed.

“I thought it was awesome and great for the chapter,” Scherr said. “It was the first time we won it, so it made it even better.”

Volk explained that goals include accurately identifying range plants, judging ecological sites by finding the types of soil, and determining the area’s capabilities as forage and range land.

“We did really good on the ecological sites,” said Volk, who didn’t expect the individual honor. “I was really surprised. I thought I did terrible.”

The winning group will advance to the national range judging competition in Oklahoma in May.

For Okke, it was fun taking in his first state competition with the chapter.

“It’s awesome to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s fun coming into it and having success right away. They’re good kids and work hard and know what it takes to keep the reputation up.”

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