A team of students from McDowell High School’s Future Farmers of America group finished third out of 87 teams in state competition, which is a record for McDowell.

The competition in livestock judging was held in Raleigh on Tuesday at the state fair grounds. Over 600 FFA members competed in three divisions to evaluate cattle, sheep, pigs and goats for both breeding and market traits. Competitors had to evaluate and place seven classes of animals and provide oral reasoning of their places for two of those classes. They also took part in a written test and a cooperative team activity to complete the contest. The top three teams will be recognized at the North Carolina FFA State Convention in Raleigh next June.

The team members are Hannah Ellis, Alyson Biddix, Maranda Schill and Madison Harris. Ellis was the top overall individual out of 316 competitors.

“The results are awesome and show just how talented and dedicated these students are but I am more impressed by their hard work and willingness to learn and improve,” said Clark Adams, agriculture teacher. “After the contest I asked them two questions. Did they do their best? Did they have fun? Those two answers are more important than final score.”

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