Lockhart FFA Poultry Team competes at State


By Anthony Collins

The Lockhart Lions FFA Poultry Judging Team showcased their skills at the state competition following their victory at District and a third-place finish in the Area Show. The Poultry Team, led by junior Jaden Kimball, participated in the state competition for the second consecutive year.

The team consisted of Kimball, Renee McNight, Hadley Moorehead, and Hailey Dittmar. Kimball placed 30th overall in the state out of 237 students, while the team as a whole finished 22nd place out of 62 schools.

In the Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE), the assessment was divided into five distinct categories: Live Poultry, Ready to Cook, Shell Eggs, Further Processed Products, and a Written Exam. Each category focuses on different aspects of the evaluation process, ensuring that all relevant areas are thoroughly examined and assessed. 

Live Poultry involves each participant will be assigned a group of four market broilers to handle. They are allowed to handle the birds, as long as they are inspected professionally and treated with care and compassion.

Ready-to-Cook Poultry has four categories which are USDA quality grades A, B, C, and the non-gradable category NG. It is important for participants not to touch any carcass or part, as doing so will lead to disqualification.

The evaluation of Shell Eggs will involve examining a batch of 10 shell eggs that are either white or white-tinted. These eggs should be packed in boxes and covered with clear film. The grading process will adhere to the USDA standards for assessing the internal quality of commercial eggs, which categorize them as AA, A, B, or Loss.

In the Further Processed Poultry category, participants will be responsible for evaluating and documenting the quality characteristics of a specific category of 10 boneless poultry products that have undergone further processing, such as precooked patties, tenders, nuggets, or other similar products.

For the Written Exam, the participants will be required to take a written examination consisting of 30 questions on various aspects of poultry production, management, anatomy, and physiology. At least five of these questions will involve mathematical calculations. The exam will cover the same topics as the National Exam and will be based on information from the provided references.

As the leader of the FFA Poultry team, Kimball emphasized the immense dedication required for the role. From organizing practice sessions to ensuring the smooth execution of shows and travel arrangements, being part of the team demands a significant commitment.

“It’s a huge commitment, but also gives us some opportunities that we didn’t think we would have,” Kimball said.

Upon graduation next year, Kimball intends to further her education at Texas A&M University, where she aims to pursue a dual major in Poultry Science and Agriculture Education.


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