Polk County High FFA Land Judging Teams again among state’s best

The tradition of success continues for Polk County High School’s Land Judging Teams.

At the 69th Annual North Carolina FFA Association Land Judging Career Development Event held Nov. 18 at Lincolnton High School in Lincolnton, the PCHS Senior Land Judging Team finished as NCFFA Western Regional Champions and took third place in the state while the Junior Land Judging Team also earned the title of NCFFA Western Regional Champions and placed second in the state.

The finishes earned the Senior Team a spot in the National Land and Range Judging Event in Oklahoma City, Okla. It will be the sixth straight national competition trip for a Polk County High School FFA team.

“This group did an amazing job,” said Polk County High School agricultural teacher and team leader Chauncey Barber. “They had to learn a lot of material in the classroom and then went out there and got dirty.

“This will be our sixth year in a row that a senior team will be getting the opportunity to go to nationals. That’s 24 different students from Polk FFA getting this experience, which is rare! Just a huge thank you to Richard Smith, these young people, parents, our school staff and community for supporting us.”

This event encourages students in grades 7-12 to analyze land characteristics such as soil type, erosion and drainage to determine the best possible use. Knowledge about soils can be organized and applied in managing farms, fields and woodlands, developing communities as well as engineering work. Students are able to comprehend why soils respond differently to management practices and how soil properties affect crop growth and urban uses as well as environmental concerns.

This event is one of 43 different career development events offered to North Carolina FFA members on the state level. The Soil Science Society of North Carolina and Duke Energy sponsors this event.  The top five teams in the state event are eligible to compete in the National Land and Range Judging Event in Oklahoma in May.  The top three teams and high scoring individual will be recognized during the North Carolina FFA State Convention in Raleigh June 25-27, 2024.

If you are interested in helping sponsor the Polk County High School FFA Land Judging Team’s trip to Oklahoma, please contact Chauncey Barber at (828) 894-2525 or cbarber@polkschools.org.  All donations are tax deductible.

Members of the Polk County High School Junior Land Judging Team include, starting second from left, Alex Martin (4th High Individual), Leah Morton (7th High Individual), Bryson Hoots and Essie Bea Mitchell
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