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Agriculture Is Alive and Strong in Rugby

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

Submitted Rugby FFA range judging team members (left to right) Kylie Scherr, Josh Pfeifer, Devin Volk and McKenzie Johnson competed and took ninth place at the National Range Judging competition in May in Oklahoma City.

The Rugby FFA represented the North Dakota FFA at the National Range Judging competition in Oklahoma City on May 7, 2015. They qualified for this event by winning the ND State FFA Range judging competition held on September 19, 2014 in Dickinson, ND.

The team, which consisted of all seniors, was Kylie Scherr, McKenzie Johnson, Josh Pfeifer, and Devin Volk. There were over 101 individual participants and 26 teams as part of the competition.

The Range competition consists of identifying prairie grasses, forbs, legumes, shrubs, and their characteristics such as season of growth, whether it is perennial or annual, if it is a native, introduced, or invasive plant, and whether it is desirable for quail or cattle food, and managing three ecological sites to make them suitable for bob white quail and beef cattle.

The students spent Monday through Wednesday leading up to the contest putting in a lot of work to memorize 65-70 new plants that are not found in North Dakota. The Rugby FFA learned from one of the best in North Dakota, Dr. Kevin Sedivec, a range scientist at NDSU. Sedivec spent a lot of time working with the team as well as did Kasey Okke, Rugby FFA adviser, prior to leaving for Oklahoma. That help didn’t stop there with Dr. Sedivec and Mr. Okke spending more time with the students in Oklahoma City preparing them for the competition.

Kylie Scherr was the high individual on the Rugby team, placing 29th overall in the contest, with the Rugby team placing an impressive 9th in this national event.

When asked about the team’s accomplishment Okke said, “I am very proud of the students that came down and competed. They put in a lot of hours in the days leading up to the competition and performed well. These four have been extremely active and have kept the Rugby FFA program strong. I thank them for their hard work and dedication over the past four years!”

– Tribune Staff Report

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