Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald



Baker High School's FFA members claimed first place in the team competitions of tractor driving, meat judging and dairy foods contests Wednesday at the Baker County Fairgrounds.

BHS senior Talon Colton was the top finisher in the tractor driving contest. Alena Ellson placed first in dairy foods and the meat judging was won by Luke Coomer.

The Wallowa High School FFA team placed second in the tractor driving competition and third-place went to the Elgin High School FFA team.

The second-place individual award went to Glen Richard Spang of Wallowa and Cameron Kerns, another BHS senior, placed third.

The teams and individuals with the lowest scores, indicating that they committed the fewest mistakes in the four categories, were declared the winners, said Darcie Colton. She kept score along with Kate Rohner and Susan Dunlap. Parents and volunteers helped coordinate the competition.

Students displayed their tractor skills in these categories: pallet loading, tractor maneuvering, operating a tractor and cultivator, and tractor loading.

Here are how the teams finished in the other events Tuesday:

Dairy Foods

andbull; Baker, first.

andbull; Wallowa and Imbler, tied for second.

andbull; Cove, fourth.

andbull; Elgin, fifth.

Randy Newman, Baker FFA adviser, said the dairy foods contest asked students to identify cheeses by their appearance and taste. They also were given 10 milk samples and asked to detect any problems. The samples ranged from milk with a small amount of bleach added to it to salty or watered-down, Newman said.

The contest also requires them to evaluate the condition of parts of a milking machine and to determine the difference between real and imitation products such as sour cream and butter.

Meat Judging

andbull; Baker, first.

andbull;Wallowa, second.

andbull; Cove, third.

andbull; Imber, fourth.

This event requires students to evaluate 30 cuts of meat to determine the type of animal that produced it and the wholesale cuts and the retail cut, Newman said.

Students also were asked to evaluate the yield grade and quality grade of a sample rib-eye steak.

Other contests

The Baker High School ag mechanics team also placed first in the district competition at Ontario last month.

Cameron Kerns placed first in four events to win a plasma metal cutter, Newman said.

Other members of the BHS team include Talon Colton, Joel Rohner, Mickayla Hall and Mark Voboril.

State competition

The first-place teams qualified to compete at the state career development events contests May 7-8 at Corvallis. The Baker FFA group also will compete in horse judging and livestock judging, Newman said.