To the untrained eye, four lambs in a row looks like four lambs in a row.

To the untrained eye, four lambs in a row looks like four lambs in a row.
But to competitors at Fort Scott Community College’s 28th annual Aggie Days, it means a lot more. Competitors can pick out and judge between the lambs based on a variety of criteria and judges are judging the students on their ability to judge.
Aggie Days is a competition that draws more than 1,400 students from more than 50 schools to Fort Scott to compete in competitions such as livestock judging, floriculture, nursery landscape, dairy foods, meat, poultry, agronomy, speech, entomology and farm business management.
Ryan Edgecomb, FSCC agriculture instructor and livestock judging coach, said the event is one of the most important each year for FSCC.
“This is a huge recruiting tool and it is a nice workout for the teams before state competition,” Edgecomb said. “This is one of our CDEs — career development events. We have a nice competition. It gives a nice perception of the careers available. It’s good learning experience and it teaches students to make decisions.”
Students came from schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas for the event. However, the event was hampered a bit by the weather. In fact, one event, land judging, had to be canceled.
Several schools dropped out of the contest to avoid bad weather sweeping across Kansas. A few more schools left early to avoid it, too.
“A lot of teams couldn’t make it and pulled out before competition,” Edgecomb said. “A few teams pulled out prior to reasons [a portion of livestock judging] just to make sure they get their students back safely.”
Edgecomb said the event could not have taken place without the hard work and diligence of numerous people at FSCC.
“There’s a bunch of organization and time and people working on this,” he said. “We’ve been working on it for a month to a month and a half. There’s a lot of money and effort that goes into an event like this. It would have been impossible to do without FSCC students helping out.”
The event must be a success, or else students such as Erin Kabrey, an eighth grader from Chetopa would not have attended every year since she was 7 years old. Kabrey said she enjoys competing in the livestock judging event each year.
“I like when they set up the lambs and you get to go and investigate them,” she said. “Every year, it seems like they judge the animals differently. It’s not the same as they used to do it when I was younger.”

Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.