Cleburne County 4-H Senior teams won the Arkansas Grasslands Evaluation Contest for the seventh year straight. The Senior Team consisted of Kathryn Bechdoldt, Zach Creasy, Rwendy Hernandez and Nick Meyer. Cleburne County also won individual awards. Spencer Beavers was first in the state followed by Stephen Wilson in second place and Luke Wilson placing third. Joanna Wilson and Pili Monsivais competed as juniors. Joanna Wilson placed 3rd high individual. The seniors will move on to compete at the Mid-America Contest in Springfield, Missouri in June.
Evaluating a grazing system, wildlife habitat, soils, and identifying plants are some of the things that 4-H members had to learn to compete in the Grassland Evaluation Contest. The students have to complete four sections in the contest including Grassland Condition, Wildlife, Soils, and Plant ID. For the Grassland Condition section, the students must assess current grazing conditions in the field, determine fertilizer and weed control recommendations, calculate how much forage is needed in spring, summer, fall, and winter for an example herd, and make recommendations for improvement – all in 25 minutes. For the wildlife section, students must evaluate the field habitat value for quail and rabbits, make recommendations to improve the habitat, and answer 20 questions on wildlife management. In the soils section students must locate the contest site on a soil map, determine the correct soil, answer questions evaluating the soil, guess the slope of the field, and determine suitability of 10 forages for that site. In the plant ID section the students must correctly identify 25 pasture plants from a list of 75 possible species. An extra twist is to receive points for a correct plant ID; each plant’s life cycle has to be answered correctly as well.