Nearly 400 Compete In Area IV Range Contest In Greeley County

Sam Thede of St. Paul, Hailey Genereux of Wheeler Central, and teams from Loup City and Burwell finished first in their divisions of the 2019 Area IV Range Judging Contest.  The event was held Thursday, September 19th, west of Spalding and drew nearly 400 competitors. The contest was sponsored by the Lower Loup Natural Resources District, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service in Ord and the UNL Central IV Extension Service. 

Student wait for the start of the range contest.

In the Senior Division, open to 11th and 12th graders, Thede scored 475 points for first place and Amber Staab of Ord finished second with 468 points.  In the Junior Division, Genereux took top honors with 459 points and Cooper Phillipps of Burwell was second with 456 points.  The Adult/Professional division was won by Cale Harrington of Loup City, who scored 484 points in the contest.

In the team competition, the Loup City senior team of Jakob Jerabek, Ashley Dearmont, Capri Dethlefs and Creighton Harrington finished in the top spot.  A Burwell team, featuring Phillipps, Ethan Joy, Hayes Jensen, and Devin Konicek finished first in the junior division.  Senior teams are made up of 11th and 12th graders while junior teams consist of sophomore and freshmen contestants.

A complete list of results can be found here.

The soil is sampled and examined as part of the contest.

Range judging is just one of several environmental and natural resources contests and events hosted by Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and UNL Extension.  Range judging provides the opportunity for students to understand the basic principles of range ecology, including soil-plant and plant-animal interactions.  Contestants demonstrate their knowledge of range plants and their growth habits, livestock forage value and other characteristics.

A competitor scrutinizes one of the plant in the contest.

Teams representing Amherst, Anselmo-Merna, Arcadia, Boone Central, Burwell, Fullerton, Loup City, Loup County, Ord, Palmer, Riverside, Sargent, St. Paul, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller, Twin River, and Wheeler Central participated in the event.