Equipped with a clipboard, Roxanne Thompson, a senior high school student from Fair Grove, Mo., was just one of the more than 2,800 students from the four state area who participated in the Crowder College Aggie Day on Thursday.
This was Thompson's first time at the event. The event is geared toward high school FFA students who competed in 19 different contests, ranging from livestock evaluation to horticulture to dairy foods to poultry to agronomy, to soils to meats to ag mechanics to name a few categories.
When the Neosho Daily News caught up to Thompson, she was judging meat at the Williams Meat Lab, inside the Anna and John Williams Agricultural Science Center.
"We just did the judging, and it is basically they had four samples out," said Thompson. "You look and judge which one has the highest quality grade. Judging by factors like marbling or with the pork and lamb, you judge by the leanness."
Thompson said she did not grow up on a farm, but got interested in FFA because of a class she wanted to take.
"I was trying the veterinarian science class and I had to join FFA to be in it," she said.
She did note that the day was interesting.
"It is stuff that I have never experienced or learned about," Thompson said. "So I feel a little like inexperienced on having to ask certain questions everyone else knows."
Thompson plans on pursuing healthcare later on and said Aggie Day was a great learning experience.
"It is interesting, because the human anatomy is a lot like that found in the animals and the bones and the different connections that you can find between humans and animals," she said.
Aggie Day is a benchmark for the high school FFA students preparing for competitions at district and state level. For many teams, it shows how well they are doing compared to teams that they will potentially compete against.
The high scoring senior in each contest is awarded a $600 merit scholarship to be used if they choose to attend Crowder College.