EATONTON, Ga. — Churubusco FFA recently represented Indiana FFA in the National Wildlife Habitat Contest after qualifying by winning the state competition in May.
The contest was held at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center near Eatonton, Ga., July 30-Aug. 2.
The team of Bethany Parish, Ashley Uecker, Blaire Foote and Tori Bradfield placed first in the national competition, edging out last year’s contest winner, West Virginia.
Sixteen states had 4-H and FFA teams participating in this contest. To qualify for this event, teams placed first in their state competitions. Churubusco also had the top three individuals in the contest with Ashley Uecker placing first, Bethany Parish placing second and Blaire Foote placing third individually in the nation.
During the seven-hour contest, team members were challenged to identify more than 65 animal species including birds, mammals, fish and reptiles. Samples could be presented to contestants by sight, sounds, skulls, tracks, body parts or other characteristics.
Contestants also had to submit wildlife management practices, mimicking the job of wildlife biologists, in order to manage a number of animal species in a given scenario. Another portion of the contest had members working as a team to write a wildlife management plan to satisfy the needs of a landowner. Team members then had to individually defend their plan by giving an oral presentation to a panel of judges. A written exam wrapped up the event, testing each contestant’s knowledge of wildlife species, including foods, habitat and other specific needs.