FFA team has a good eye for ribeye

Junior Ashley Stutsman had such success filling in on a Wyoming FFA meat carcass evaluation team that when she moved to Colorado, she joined Moffat County's team.

And she's seen success here, too.

The Moffat County High School FFA meat carcass evaluation team took first place Monday at the Western Slope Regional contest held in Rifle.

The team evaluates cuts of meat to determine the species, quality and cut as well as taking written tests on thawing and cooking methods and contamination and illness concerns. The tests include two math exercises in which the team selects cuts of meat from a wide selection to fill an "order" that meets stated specifications at the lowest price.

"It's more interesting than anything," Stutsman said. "There's pressure because you want to do good. It makes you really think about meat, and that helps later when you're cooking or shopping."

The team consists of four students, Stutsman, Eric Wellman, Jessie Moon and Cassie Moon. Individually they placed second, third, fourth and fifth.

Stutsman was surprised by her second-place finish.

"I didn't think I was ready," she said. "I was so nervous because I didn't think I knew anything."

They're not the only FFA members who boasted an outstanding performance. Sara Kawcak placed second in horse evaluation, and the horse evaluation team tied for second place overall. The soils judging team took third place, and Rance Moon earned the high individual score for livestock evaluation.

"We've always had some good judging teams in Moffat County," FFA adviser Rick Murr said. "We were really satisfied, that being the first contest of the year. The kids did really good."

The competition is considered a career development event, Murr said.

FFA members will repeat the event at state in May.

"This gives us an indication of what we need to work on before state competition," Murr said. "They're a pretty motivated group of kids."

Sixteen students traveled to Rifle for Monday's competition.

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