SPRINGFIELD — Greenfield McClain High School finished second, Hillsboro High School ninth and Fairfield High School 13th among 79 school districts competing in the general livestock category at the 58th Wilmington College Aggies’ Livestock Judging Competition Wednesday in Springfield.
McClain student Mat Barton finished fourth among 773 high school students competing in the general livestock category. Fellow students Eric Anderson finished 7th; Madison Schumacher, 28th; Heidi Rolfe, 47th; Dean Brock, 52nd; Kelli Uhrig, 205th and Arielle Kline, 262nd.
Hillsboro’s Jacob Helterbrand finished 13th, Aaron Miller, 38th; Lauren Grover, 55th; Lana Grover, 102nd; Regan Claycomb, 148th; Emma Parry, 182nd; Lane Hetzel, 191st; Keely Bennington, 245th; Jacquelyn Marietta, 260th; Lexey Hetzel, 282nd; Jordan Williamson, 288th; Jacob Deatley, 323rd; Heather Burba, 353rd; Jireh Vance, 356th; Jared Conn, 410th; and Chase Colliver, 446th, among those in the top 500.
Fairfield High School student Sarah Young finished 31st, followed by: Grace Larrick, 41st; Braden Heizer, 58th; Blake Adams, 71st; Klay Walker, 119th; Kadyn Lamb, 169th; Ethan Putnam, 189th; Keith Thompson, 214th; Ryan Matthews, 255th; Dale Back, 283rd; Lane Frost, 291st; Baylee Willey, 310th; Teigan Thackston, 326th; Ashley Sowards, 329th; Grace Shope, 351st; Dylan Zimmerman, 406th; and Rachel Schuler, 500th, in the top 500.
A record-breaking 1,329 high school students judged dairy cattle, equine, general livestock and agronomy at the Wilmington College Aggies’ contest, according to Wilmington College Public Relations Director Randy Sarvis.
The event attracted students from 79 schools from Ohio and surrounding states for a competition billed as the largest east of the Mississippi River and, in the words of Aggies’ adviser Harold Thirey, assistant professor of agriculture: “With this year’s turnout, it may be the largest in the United States.”
Thirey qualified the more than 1,300 high school 4-H and Future Farmers of America members as constituting at least a “modern-day record” during his nearly 40 years as a faculty member.
“The livestock judging contest is well known by high school teachers, advisers and students involved in 4-H, vocational agriculture and Future Farmers of America,” he said.
Thirey added that the competition represents one of the distinct components of Wilmington’s agriculture program, which was established in 1948 and has become WC’s largest academic offering. Thirey said the university’s challenge in having such a large number of student participants was even greater this year as they needed to move the contest from Wilmington to the Champion Expo Center at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Springfield.
In the agronomy competition, Fairfield High School finished 15th; with student Hannah Putnam finishing 67th and Brianna Morris 68th. Hillsboro finished 17th, with student Grant Crum placing 66th.
In the dairy cattle category, Hillsboro finished 31st, with student Tyler Carnes finishing 113th.
In the equine category, Hillsboro finished 24th; with student Jasha Rose, 24th; Ciara Lister, 114th; Makenzie Adams, 118th; Minnie Price, 154th; Elizabeth Mahan, 169th; Riley Tahler, 189th; and Alexis Fritz, 213th. Fairfield High School finished 55th, with student Brianna Burleson finishing 130. There were 63 schools and 228 students competing in this category.