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AFR Promotes Practical Skills with Youth Livestock Handling Competition

OKLAHOMA CITY-American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) continued its support of Oklahoma youth through the annual Tulsa Farm Show Livestock Handling Skills Competition Dec. 7, 2012. The competition showcased the skills of young 4-H and FFA members in practical, real-life cattle handling scenarios such as weighing for accurate dosage, vaccinating, and tagging calves in a hydraulic chute.

In an industry where cattle of all ages and backgrounds are sent through the chute, stress-free processing is a primary concern for cattlemen. For young people involved in the process, safety is paramount. Contestants were judged on skill, accuracy, and efficiency as they sort and process animals through the chute.

The competition emphasized the application of classroom study to actual agricultural production scenarios. In order to excel, students were required to take knowledge out of the classroom and apply it in a real world situation.

"The livestock handling competition is one of the most practical competitions we sponsor throughout the year," said AFR President Terry Detrick. "It teaches students how to effectively and efficiently prepare an animal for the pasture while considering the animal's care and welfare, and safety to the individual processing the animal."

Ten teams of three students each qualified for the final competition by written test in July during the Oklahoma State University Field Days. The top two teams from each FFA district were eligible to participate in the finals. In addition to scholarships and trophy buckles, the winning team received a Priefert calf table for their agricultural education program.

First-place winners of this year's competition were Porter FFA Chapter members K.C. Barnes, Hallie Barnes and Jarrod McKinney. Second-place winners were Madill FFA Chapter members Shiann Burns, Tucker Burns and Luke Chapman. Third-place winners were Crescent FFA members Julie Semrad, Tee Barnes and Tommy Ryland.

Each year, AFR teams up with Midwest Shows, Inc., to offer the livestock handling program. For more information on the Tulsa Farm Show Livestock Handling Skills Competition or other AFR-sponsored youth events, contact AFR Youth & Education Coordinator Lin Fariss at 405-218-5561 or [email protected].

American Farmers & Ranchers was established in 1905, and is headquartered in Oklahoma City. AFR is actively supportive of Oklahoma's agricultural industry and rural population, and provides educational, legislative, and cooperative programs across the state. AFR also provides insurance products statewide, and is recognized as a leading domestic insurance carrier in the state of Oklahoma.