WHITLEY COUNTY -- The Whitley County FFA chapter's Agriculture Mechanics, Meat-Judging and Welding teams competed at the Kentucky State Fair August 15 and 16.

Fisher Barton, Shane Bingham, Ethan Steely and Austin Huddleston competed in the State Agriculture Mechanics competition and placed first.

They had to complete four activities including a general knowledge test, an agriculture chemical sprayer identification test, a test on how to calibrate a no till seeder, and a test on determining how much crop residue was left in a field after a harvest. The Ag Mechanics team goes on to compete at nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana at the end of October.

Steely also placed as a high individual in the state.

This is only the third time in school history that the Ag Mechanics team has won a state competition. The last time WCHS FFA won the contest was in 2015, they had placed second in the state for the last three years in a row.

For the national competition the team will compete against teams from all across the United States. Students will complete a written test, a team activity and a skills activity in multiple areas.

The Meat Judging team placed second amongst 19 teams. Team members included Ben Nichols, Gracie Brashear, Leslie Monhollen and Logan Bennett. The team dedicated time throughout the summer practicing and visiting meat labs and processing facilities that contributed to their success as well as individual studying.

Anne Evans Bays from Moonlight Meat Processing helped in guiding, assisting, and allowing the team to visit Moonlight for practices. The chapter is excited for this outcome and hopes to continually improve in years to come with this being their second year competing. They competed in a four-part competition that included identification, placing, quality grade, and lastly yield grade. The team enjoyed their time at the fair as well as their successful outcome.

Bryce Bays, Caleb Rose, Chase Lawson and Bobby Downs competed in the state Welding competition and placed second in the state. This is the best finish in the school's long history of competing in the state welding contest. They had to complete a total of three different welds that included a flat bead, a vertical butt weld, and a vertical corner joint weld. Lawson placed fifth individually and Bays placed sixth individually in the state competition.

Team members were selected out of the agriculture classes taught by Glen Croley and Brian Prewitt where they were taught this material based on their performance of the skills needed for their respective competitions. Team members were chosen last school year and then had to place first in their regional competition in order to advance on to the state competitions.

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