ALHS FFA team wins at national barrow show

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 17, 2002

The Albert Lea High School FFA won the &uot;World Series of swine shows,&uot; the National Barrow Show, on Sept. 10 at the Mower County fairgrounds in Austin.

&uot;We’ve been in the top ten in the last three years that we have been there,&uot; said Kim Meyer, the FFA advisor for Albert Lea High School. &uot;This team worked really hard this year and they have been excellent.&uot;

The team from Albert Lea consists of four members: senior Matt Nielsen, senior Larissa Brune, junior Jake Clark, and sophomore Stephen Hubly. The team has been undefeated since July and has won two other major contests in the past year, including the Abair-Casey show and the Sioux Empire show.

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The contests they compete in are for judging livestock of different species. The Austin contest was purely a swine judging contest. The team of four each individually judges three members of two groups of swine. The groups of swine are breed and market

In breed, the team looks to see that an animal is healthy, has good traits, and has longevity. For market, the team looks to see if the swine would provide good meat.

Meyer said that when considering both, he encourages his team to think about the swine from three different perspective: that of the consumer, the meat packer and the producer. If a swine can satisfy all of those than the swine will most likely do well in each category.

The team has three major contests in the next two weeks, but Meyer said he in confident that they will do well. &uot;As a coach I think we are going to win a lot of these tough contests.&uot;

The goal for the team is to make it to the national championship in Louisville, Ky., which incorporates judging for three different farm-raised species. They will have to score well in an upcoming contest in Minneapolis to get to that competition though, which may not be easy.

&uot;You’ve got 28 teams competing for seven spots,&uot; said Meyers. &uot;But these kids are some of the best I’ve had. I’m thinking we can win that one.&uot;