Kersteen Shuler, a senior high school student from Halfway, Mo., was just one of the 2,800 FFA students who participated in Thursday’s 45th annual Crowder College Aggie Day.

This was her first time at the event.

The students judged various items from dairy foods to nursery items to entomology, poultry, horses, forestry and soils to name a few items.

“I have been judging for four years,” said Shuler. “I think that it is extremely beneficial, because without it, we would bomb at districts. This is how we practice.”

Shuler judged dairy products, including cheese and milk.

“Cheese is probably the easiest part,” she said. “It is limited. It is not too hard to judge, but milk can messed up so easy.”

Asked how she judges milk, Shuler said, “the way that I do it is whenever I go to a milk, I smell it first and I smell it all. And the ones that I can’t smell right off, I taste. And then I judge off of that.”

She sees these judging contests to be very beneficial in the long run.

“We do judging at school but we practice through contests,” Shuler said.

It was also the first year for Jesalynn Braygarner, a freshman at Diamond High School.
“It actually is really beneficial, I like judging and it helps me in the long run.”

To get to this stage, Braygarner said her fellow FFA students judge.

“Have teamwork with everyone else in your team, just practice,” Braygarner said.

Stockton High School freshman Elizabeth Fuller also participated in the dairy-judging contest for the first time.

“The cheeses are pretty straight forward, but the milk can get kind of difficult sometimes,” she said.

Asked what she looks for when she judges, Fuller said, “different taste, smells and the cheeses, their shapes sometimes. Provolone has a round shape.”

Fuller encourages other students to do judging.

“It helps you in the future,” she said. “It is pretty beneficial, depending on each contest helps you get further to go to state and districts.”

The event concluded at 2 p.m. Thursday.