The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Chinook FFA Continues to Compete


January 29, 2020

As part of their FFA Career and Leadership Development pathway, Shyla Benzing and Saige Olmstead competed at the MAGIE meats contest.

Although the Chinook FFA Chapter mechanics team was slated to travel to Fergus High School in Lewistown for the Fergus Mechanics Contest and FFA Winter Meeting on January 25, the group decided to privilege work over that event on their Career and Leadership Development pathway.

The Fergus of Lewistown FFA Alumni Mechanics Competition featured contest categories that are comparable to the state mechanics contest and included tests in welding, construction, electricity, equipment, small engines, plumbing, and environmentalism.

In previous contests, on January 18, two Chinook FFA Chapter members traveled with their advisor Robin Allen to Great Falls for the KMON Meats competition. The event was held in conjunction with the Montana Agriculture and Industrial Exhibit (MAGIE).

Saige Olmstead and Shyla Benzing competed at the MAGIE meats contest, which in the early 1990s became the Montana FFA State contest, meaning the winners of the event qualify to compete at the National FFA Convention. This contest is an event on the Career and Leadership Development (CDE) pathway.

"While their individual placings of 51 and 114 weren't noteworthy themselves, the girls survived three hours in a cold, cold, cold metal building," Allen reported.

The purpose of the Meats Evaluation program is to stimulate student involvement in developing consumer skills for purchasing and preparing meat products according to industry standards. Participants also develop decision making and communication skills as they relate to the meat industry.

One of the helpers at the contest was former Montana State FFA Parliamentarian, Randy Bogden, who currently serves as the voice of agriculture for 560 KMON. In addition to helping KMON produce the MAGIE, part of Bogden's job includes conducting on-air interviews with various vendors and exhibitors at the tradeshow as well as assisting with the meats judging contest.

Open to both 4-H and FFA youth, the MAGIE contests included meats, agronomy, and livestock judging.


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