Polk FFA returns to top 50 at National Land and Range Judging Contest

Recent trips to national land judging competition in Oklahoma did not end quite as well as teams from Polk County FFA would have preferred.

Thus as the 2023 team prepared to travel to Oklahoma City, PCHS agricultural education teacher and team sponsor Chauncey Barber set a goal for the quartet – return to Polk County with a top-50 finish.

Mission accomplished.

Team members Banks Barber, Annslee Kilgore, Dakota Searcy and Davis Young delivered and placed 47th out of 112 teams competing in The 2023 National Land and Range Judging Contest.

In land judging competitions, students evaluate soil characteristics including texture, slope and drainage, then classify the land in a capacity class. Recommendations for land treatments are made with consideration given to farm, residential and urban uses.

“Our state event is a little different, and most of the other states have changed their state competition to be similar to nationals,” Chauncey Barber said. “Honestly, in the long run, North Carolina needs to make a few changes, but we have a good competition that teaches kids a lot of other skills about soils and land not related to agriculture, and to me that is a benefit.

“Overall, it was a great trip. I want to thank head boys tennis coach Tracy Becker for being supportive of Banks so he could fly back from Oklahoma to compete in the (2A West) tennis regional. Also, a special shout to former agricultural education teacher Richard Smith and Jason Kilgore for helping drive and prepare the kids. I really love it when all hands are on deck for young people.”

Hondo FFA of Hondo, Tex. won the competition as teams from all across the country made the annual trek to Oklahoma.

“I am extremely thankful for all the support in the community,” Barber said. “I want to especially thank Mike Ashworth, owner of Ashworth Financial Group in Tryon, for supporting our team. Mike has helped kids financially as well as devoted many hours over the years coaching or helping kids. I can’t say enough about all the positive things he has done since coming to this community.

“I also want to thank our other sponsors, AgSouth (Carolina Farm Credit), Polk County Farm Bureau, Polk County Sheriff’s Department, Dusenbury Insurance Agency, Dave Slater and Polk County Soil and Water.”

Translate »