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Over 200 students from FFA District 1 traveled to Southeast Community College’s Ag Center in Beatrice on Wednesday for their annual livestock judging event.

They spent their day evaluating different sheep, goats, hogs, cattle, then discussed their decisions with SCC agriculture students.

Alex Goeckel, SCC livestock program director, said that for example, the students looked at breeding guilds, which gives them experience picking out the guilds that will be best suited for a breeding herd.

“They’re looking at things such as structure, body condition, the guilds themselves, and they can use that in a real-life situation where they would actually go and pick the guilds that they want to use for their herd to be bred to produce more,” Goeckel said.

The students were also asked questions about the livestock’s structure and characteristics.

Goeckel said SCC ag students helped select the livestock being judged, and ensured that each one had a unique characteristic that determined why they are in a certain class. He also noted that a majority of the animals were raised at the school.

Madysen Cox, who steered heifers during the event, said she attended the livestock judging for four years as a high school student.

“It taught me a lot about reading the cattle, like working with the cattle instead of working on the cattle,” Cox said.

Goeckel said the event also helps the SCC students practice the production of setting up animal pens and filling out paperwork.

“It’s more than just about livestock today, they’re also using a lot of soft skills where they’re getting to interact with the students that are here and interact with the other instructors that are here to make sure everything goes smoothly,” Goeckel said.

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