By Remi Lessenger and Haley Wakeland, Louisa-Muscatine FFA Reporters
The Louisa-Muscatine FFA Poultry Judging Team received a gold rating and placed ninth overall in the National FFA Poultry Judging Career Development Event held on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis, Indiana. They competed against the state champions from 42 states! Will Hoopes and Brelynn Randall received gold individual ratings and Skyler Beck and Kendal Pugh received silver individual ratings. Their top 10 finish qualified them for an expense paid trip to the International Poultry & Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia this January curtesy of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.
To prepare for the contest, students were able to work with the Iowa State Poultry Department, the Purdue University Poultry Department, Farmer’s Hen House Egg Processor in Kalona, and Hy-Line North America in Wilton.
Individually, the contestants had to evaluate and place live broilers, laying hens and turkey carcasses along with oral reasons over their placings. They graded broiler carcasses and processed poultry products, along with identification of poultry retail products, evaluated and graded eggs both for interior and exterior defects and completed an exam over the poultry industry. As a team, they answered questions over hatchery and laying hen management and gave a presentation over hatchery and breeding operations.