On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Nipomo’s California State Champion Livestock Evaluation team, Tucker Banta, Erica Bowles, Eric Sahagun, and Kyler Vernon traveled all the way to Indianapolis, Indiana to compete at the National FFA Judging Finals.
The contest was a two day rigorous event, but Nipomo was prepared. On Friday, Oct. 27, the results were announced, and the Nipomo FFA livestock evaluation team was named reserve national champions, with Kyler Vernon as 10th High Individual and Eric Sahagun as seventh.
Nipomo FFA earned the privilege of representing the state of California at the National FFA judging finals, by becoming state champions last May. The National FFA Livestock Competition tests the students' ability to select and evaluate livestock. Event components include eight evaluation classes of beef, sheep, swine, and goats, oral placement reasons for four classes, a written exam on livestock production, and a team activity that utilizes reproductive and marketing information that demonstrates the teams’ livestock selection ability.
After asking Eric Sahagun his interpretation of how much different the National contest was compared to the State contest, he replied, “The national contest had three additional components compared to the state contest, like a marketing and genetics activity where we worked in pairs to evaluate livestock. Although there was many more components to this competition, I felt very prepared and confident because of the many practices under my belt.”
Because Nipomo FFA’s Livestock Evaluation Team placed in the top three in the nation, they were invited to compete in the International Livestock Judging Tour featuring the Royal Highland Show held in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. During the 14-day adventure, students will compete against other young farms at the Royal Scotland Highland show. In addition, they will tour premier livestock breeders in Scotland and Ireland. Having the opportunity to gain a global experience is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Nipomo FFA is very proud of our Livestock team as they have made their dreams become a reality.