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Ag & NatR Activities Day > Contest Descriptions
Contest Descriptions


General Livestock    
Dairy Cattle    
Horse    
Floriculture    
Meats   
Small Animals
Wildlife    
Forestry  
Nursery and Landscape    
Ag Mechanics    
Crops    
Soils    
Sales   
Farm Management        
Dairy Products 
Hippology
Food Science and Technology


 

General Livestock Judging Contest:
The General Livestock Judging Contest requires judgment ability to select/rank four animals from best to worst for either breeding purposes or sale of meat (slaughter) purposes.  This contest involves three species: beef cattle, swine, and sheep.  This skill is important when selecting animals that are ready for slaughter or as breeding animals.  These animals should have the desired traits as sought by the meat animal industry and ultimately the consumer.  Along with visual appraisal, this contest also adds performance data to some classes.  This gives the judges some concrete information beyond what can be visually observed.  In larger contest, this contest also requires oral reasons, which is a verbal justification for your placing.  A perfect score on a class is "50".  

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Dairy Cattle Judging Contest: 
The Dairy Cattle Judging Contest requires judgment ability to select/rank four animals from best to worst based on an industry "ideal".  This skill is important when buying or culling animals that will be profitable.  This selection process is based on visual appraisal as opposed to evaluation of milk performance data or DHIA records.  In larger contests, this contest also requires oral reasons, which is a verbal justification for your placing.  A perfect score is "50".

Also involved in this contest is linear evaluation of one cow.  Linear evaluation is a method of evaluating 15 traits on a 1-50 point scale between biological extremes.  A score of 25 would be near breed average.  The major difference in this type of evaluation, as opposed to judging classes, is that you are evaluation one trait on a cow as opposed to the cow as a whole.  

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Horse Judging Contest: 
Students judge horses at halter (conformation) and during performance.  Possible halter classes include Quarter Horses or Stock-type horses, Arabians, and/or Morgans.    Performance classes today are Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle or Hunter Pleasure, and/or English Pleasure.  Often, contestants are required to give 'reasons', which is a timed oral presentation on why they placed the class the way they did.  Due to lack of time and space, we do not require that part of the contest in this competition.  Questions (worth 50 points) will be asked on one designated class to break any ties.  Each class is worth 50 points.  Official judge(s) will place the class and assign point values to the different possible placing.  The closer to the official placing, the more points a contestant earns.  When there are more than three contestants from one school, the top three contestants' scores will count for the team score. 

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Floriculture Contest: 
There are three parts to the Floriculture Contest

  1. Written exam covering general horticulture/floriculture knowledge.  The exam covers information about fertilizers, plant care, insects and diseases of greenhouse plants, annual and perennial flowers, plant structure, soils for the greenhouse, and many other areas.  40% of the score is dependent on the written exam.  
  2. Judging - The students will judge 4 classes of plant material:  cut flowers, foliage plants, flowering plants and a floral design. 20% of the score.
  3. Identification - Students will identify 50 plants by sample or by picture.  The samples are from several areas including annuals, perennials, foliage plants, cut flowers and cut foliage.  40% of the score. 

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Meats Contest:
The meats contest is split into two parts, the first being a Identification contest where 30 cuts of meat are displayed and the contestant identifies the SPECIES (Beef, Pork, or Lamb) the PRIMAL CUT (where on the critter it came from such as leg, loin, chuck, etc.) and the RETAIL NAME (T-Bone, Ground Beef, etc.)  The second half, four pieces of the same cut are displayed (like 4 pork chops) and the contestant ranks them according to quality from best to worst with one being best and four being worst.
 
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Small Animals Contest:
This contest is designed to assess student knowledge, practical application and evaluation abilities in the area of small animal care, veterinary skills and pet management. 100% of the contest (all written exam and I.D.) will involve the five species recommended in the Minnesota FFA CDE Manual (dogs, cats, fish, birds and rabbits). The contest will consist of three sections including:

  1. Written Exam  200 points
  2. Animal Identification (photos or live animals of different species or breeds) 200 points
  3. Practicums 100 points
    dog & cat label identification, fish problems and anatomy of skeletal, nervous and digestive systems

500 points overall total for Small Animals contest

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Wildlife Contest:
The wildlife contest consists of both identification and written questions.  The contest uses the  basis of the Minnesota FFA regulations, but in an expanded format to handle the average 200 participants each year.  Students must be able to identify and answer written questions about 150 birds, mammals, fish, and insects.  Questions cover identification, habitat, life history, and regulations pertaining to any of the species.  

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Forestry Contest:
The Ag-Activities Day Forestry Contest is a modified version of the Minnesota FFA Contest.  Participants identify tree and wood samples as well as a selection of tools commonly used in the forestry profession.  They also take a written exam covering topics such as forest policy, forest ecology, tree biology, the forest products industry, land survey, and forest measurements.  Scores are based on a weighted combination of the identification and written portions of the exam.  Thirty-five to seventy students participate in this event every year. 

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Landscape Contest: 
There are four parts to the Nursery/Landscape Contest.

  1. Judging - 10% of the contest is based on judging container grown woody plants and landscape plans.
  2. Information and skills written examination - 40% of the contest is based on questions regarding nursery production, plant science, plant propagation, landscape design and turf and grounds maintenance.
  3. Identification - 40% of the contest is based on identification of landscape plants including shade trees, ornamentals, evergreens, vines, ground covers, annuals and perennials, and weeds.  
  4. Practicum - 10% of the contest is based on problems relating to landscape construction:  for example, calculating rock or turf for a given area. 

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Ag Mechanics Contest: 
The Ag and Nat R Activities Day Ag Mechanics Contest follows the contest subject matter as determined by the National FFA Association.

  • Agricultural Tractor, Machinery, and Equipment (2011-Tractor, 2013-Planter, 2015-Sprayer)
  • Engine Systems (Large Engine)
  • Metal Fabrication – (MIG, Fuel Gas Welding and Cutting, Cold Metal)
  • Electric Motors, Controls, and Sensing Devices
  • Concrete, Masonry, and Plumbing
  • Land Measurement, Leveling, and GPS/GIS

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Crops Contest:  The contest follows the FFA Contest rules.  
The crops contest consists of the following four phases:

  1. Crop and weed identification
  2. Agriculture Management
  3. Grain Grading
  4. Practicum three of them which includes something on seed analysis, along with ag chemicals, fertilizers, plant populations, seeding rates, or other management practices.   

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Soils Contest:
The ag sales event will consist of three parts: a written test, individual sales presentation, and a team sales activity. The event will be a team event consisting of six students, in which only the top four students are scored All team members will participate in the test and individual sales presentations. Using the team approach, each team competes as a group in the team sales activity.

We will be following the new Minnesota CDE rules for the Ag Sales contest this year. As a result of this we will have to limit the number of teams to the first ten that register due to scheduling. Also please note the new start time for the contest – Registration at 7:15 and the contest will start at 7:30 sharp.

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Sales Contest:
The ag sales event will consist of three parts: a written test, individual sales presentation, and a team sales activity. The event will be a team event consisting of six students, in which only the top four students are scored All team members will participate in the test and individual sales presentations. Using the team approach, each team competes as a group in the team sales activity.

We will be following the new Minnesota CDE rules for the Ag Sales contest this year. As a result of this we will have to limit the number of teams to the first ten that register due to scheduling. Also please note the new start time for the contest – Registration at 7:15 and the contest will start at 7:30 sharp.

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Farm Management Contest:
The farm management contest is a contest which tests skills and knowledge about the management of a farm business.  Items included in the contest are: (1) methods of accounting and understanding balance sheets and their interpretation; (2) income tax procedures and management; (3) farm management principles; (4) budgets; (5) enterprise analysis.  The contest is similar to the FFA state and national contest. 

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Dairy Products Contest:
The Dairy Products (Foods) Contest  involves the following aspects:

  1. Identification of cheeses
  2. Selection of the "real" dairy products based on taste or visual appraisal when given a real and an artificial product.
  3. Detection of "off" flavors in milk and their degree of severity
  4. Evaluation of equipment cleanliness
  5. Scoring of somatic cell count in milk
  6. Written test on knowledge of dairy production and dairy marketing

    The overall purpose of this contest is to train students with some of the skills needed to provide quality dairy products to consumers.  Students with a keen interest in this contest may pursue a major in Dairy Food Processing.  This contest is unusual as it is scored with the number wrong rather than number right, hence the lowest score wins this contest.  

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Hippology:

Hippology is the study of horses, the contest will involve basic horse knowledge, such as anatomy, health, diseases, breeds, etc. We will be using the references that are established on the MN 4-H horse program website, so it will be the same study material as a 4-H test.

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Food Science and Technology:

  1. Written Exam—questions about food safety, sanitation, quality, HACCP, etc.
  2. Customer Inquiry—Contestants respond to an issue with their product
  3. Safety and Sanitation—Contestants pick out improper safety and sanitation procedures from pictures
  4. Aroma Identification—Contestants identify aroma samples using their sense of smell
  5. Flavor Identification—Contestants use their senses to analyze 3 samples of a similar product and find which one is different
  6. Triangle Test—Students compare 2 samples that are numbered and 1 unknown by using their senses to determine what the number the unknown sample is
  7. Team Event­­—A team of 4 will create a products based off of certain credentials given to them, and will have to present their product to a panel of judges with the intention of convincing the panel to choose your product to sell to customers.

This contest is meant to provide students with overall knowledge and skills needed in numerous aspects of the Food Science and Technology industry. The contest will follow the same rules as the FFA National guidelines.

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