Agriculture department takes on Kentucky and competes nationally


Sophomore biology major Madison Hall and freshman behavioral sciences major Molleigh McCormack attended the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Student Judging Contest at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. The Agriculture department has competed in NACTA every spring semester.

Annette Meza, Copy Editor

A team of two from Seward County Community College competed against other college students in the nation in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Student Judging Contest. The agriculture department has attended every year in the spring. Sophomore biology major, Madison Hall, placed 10th in the nation for livestock management.

On April 9, Joshua C. Morris, SCCC agriculture instructor, Hall and Molleigh McCormack, freshman behavioral sciences major, headed out on a 13 hour drive to Murray, Kentucky for the NACTA competition. The purpose of NACTA is for students to showcase the skills that they learned all year, like livestock management, livestock judging, soil judging, business agriculture, horse judging and much more.

“Over the course of the semesters, we learn everything we have to know in class so that we are ready to compete,” Hall said.

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SCCC agriculture instructor Joshua C. Morris, Sophomore biology major Madison Hall and freshman behavioral sciences major Molleigh McCormack visited Churchill Downs, which used to be where the Kentucky Derby used to be.

The two participated in two different divisions, livestock judging and livestock management. Hall participated in both livestock management and livestock judging. She placed 42/52 in livestock management while McCormack placed 52/52 in livestock management, which was her only division.

“I’ve only taken two semesters of this class for fun, so I really don’t know much about agriculture, but I did learn more new terms on this trip by doing the contests and tests,” McCormack said, as she laughed about her placement.

Noterman mentioned how initially five people were supposed to attend the contest but changes were made during the spring semester.

“The more people we have attending, the more competitions we could do, but unfortunately we didn’t have more people,” Noterman said.

On April 12, the competition began. Hall had the livestock judging competition to attend, which took 11 hours to complete. During her contest, Hall said that they only had 12 minutes to observe each class of animals. Each class contained four animals. Hall had to tell the judges  why she judged the livestock the way she did and ended up in 10th place.

“It started at 7 a.m and I finished at 6:30 p.m. I definitely learned to not get frustrated at judges anymore because I went through what they do on a daily basis,” the sophomore said.

The following day, Hall and McCormack took on the next challenge, which was the livestock management test.

“The test asked us things such as what tools we use for the livestock, breeding questions, problem solving questions and calculation rations,” McCormack said.

The group of three also had some time for fun, since one day ended up being a free day for them.

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The group of three also decided to visit the Louisville Slagger museum and factory.

“We went to the Louisville center and toured there, which is where they make baseball bats, and we also went to Churchill Downs, which was The Kentucky Derby,” Hall said.

McCormack said that this trip and contest prepared her for what is to come next semester and she hopes to continue taking agriculture classes next year.

“I realized that I could possibly find a new passion out of this, maybe a minor in agriculture in the future,” McCormack said.

Hall wants to continue studying agriculture and plans to switch her major to Animal Science when she transfers to Fort Hays State University in the future.