Some 270 high school students from 13 local and regional school systems participated in the 22nd annual Agricultural Skills Day held at Alfred State College in October. Students from Alfred-Almond; Cassadaga Valley; CG May (Mt. Morris); Cuba-Rushford; Fillmore; Genesee Valley; Hewes Educational Center (Erie CCB); Letchworth; LoGuidice Educational Center (Fredonia); Olean BOCES; Pine Valley; Prattsburg; and Randolph participated in one of five different skills competitions.
Landscape/Nursery competition: more than 40 contestants participated in this contest which involved identifying trees, plants, weeds, insects, and solving a problem as a team station. Cuba-Rushford captured the top three team spots with Torrey Hoxie, Katie Santangelo, Joe Blakeslee taking first place; Drew Schmidt, Nolan Searl, and Jacob Janus taking second; and Rachel Wall, Aaron Bean, Desi Burdick, and Brittany Walters taking third.
The top five individual competitors were also from Cuba-Rushford: Hoxie, Blakeslee, Schmidt, Wall, and Janus.
Showmanship competition: new this year, the showmanship competition was open to the first 20 registrants. Contestants were judged on their ability to show and answer questions on dairy cattle, horses, and alpacas. Judges for this competition included Professor Emeritus Pete MacDonald and Alumnus Lynn Sick.
The top five showmanship contestants, in order, were Dane Dechow, Randolph; Amanda Elsholz, Pine Valley; Luck Johnson, Fillmore; Nicole Parnell, CG May; and Hayley Scharbach, CG May.
Tractor Driving competition: an individual contest limited to the first 20 registrants age 14 and older with experience in the safe operation of modern agricultural tractors, this contest included a two-wheel trailer event, a written examination related to tractor safety, and identification of tractor parts. Adam Dobbins, ASC ag instructor, assisted James Carrabba, agricultural safety specialist at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) in judging this competition. Each judge chose a "top five"
1st - Derrick Freeman, Alfred-Almond 1st - Cole Booth, Randolph
2nd - Zach Williams, Hewes 2nd - Chris Koerner, Letchworth
3rd - Nick Wall, Genesee Valley BOCES 3rd -Nick Herman, Pine Valley
4th - Dan Stein, Genesee Valley BOCES 4th -Chad Voss, Fillmore
5th -Glenn Moss, Pine Valley 5th - Dustin Drake, Prattsburg
Stockman's contest: More than 160 contestants participated on 55 teams. Contest stations included two classes of dairy cow judging, dairy product identification, forage, weed, insect identification, dairy and livestock equipment and management questions, equine equipment and breed questions, and farm tool identification. Assisting the ASC Ag Program faculty members in delivering this portion of the contest was ASC Professor Emeritus John Bartell, who provided the expertise in setting up and judging the dairy products identification station.
The top six teams were:
1st - CG May: Amber Milhollen, Stephanie Spence, Andy Marusarz
2nd - Fillmore: Marshall Hinz, Duncan Bailey, Cody Voss
3rd - Fillmore: Stephanie Hinz, Matt Lates, Liz Cockle
4th - Letchworth: Pat Vonder Ploeg, Jeff Holly, Jake Bauer
5th -Randolph: Dalton Brown, Aaron Finch, Tim Sheldon
6th - Cassadaga Valley: Jon Gibson, Joe Reed, Jae Carlstrom
The top five individuals for each division were:
Livestock and Judging Identification Stations
1st - Amber Milhollen 1st - Pat Vonder Ploeg
2nd - Matt Harrington 2nd - Marshall Hinz
3rd - Stephanie Spence 3rd - Cody Voss
4th - Andy Marusarz 4th - Andy Marusarz
5th - Marshall Hinz 5th - Kat Bailey
Companion and Small Animal contest: More than 60 contestants identified parasites, surgical instruments and equipment, breeds, anatomical parts, and performed restraint techniques on animals. The top three teams were:1st Place- Fillmore - Steven Benedict, Timberlee Salamone, Felisha Welninski
2nd Place- Olean BOCES - Alexandra Edwards, Kathryn Sletten, Kala Foster
3rd Place- Fillmore - Alyssa Ricketts, Jenn Stephens, Clinton Hodnett
The top five individuals were: Timberlee Salamone, Steven Benedict, Alyssa Ricketts, all from Fillmore; and Alexandra Edwards and Kala Foster from Olean BOCES.
Faculty, staff, and over 80 students from the Agriculture and Horticulture Department at Alfred State College conducted and scored the competition. Special guest for the day was Terry Hughes the NYS director, Agricultural Tech Prep.
An awards ceremony followed at the Pioneer Lounge on the Alfred campus, following the various ag-related contests which were staged at the College Farm, Alfred State's bus garage parking lot (tractor driving), Horticulture Center and in the facilities of the Veterinary Technology Program, on the third floor of the Agriculture Science Building on campus. Allegany County Dairy Princess Casey Arlig presented ribbons at the Awards Ceremony. She is pictured here with one of the ASC dairy herd cows.
Alfred State College offers outstanding educational opportunities for students in its nearly 60 associate degree, 15 bachelor degrees, and several certificate programs. Numerous vocational-technical offerings stressing hands-on learning are available at the Applied Technology Campus in nearby Wellsville.
The College is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and several programs are also accredited or approved by curriculum-specific professional organizations. While stressing technical education, the College continues to pride itself on maintaining close personal ties among students and faculty. Alfred State's reputation for excellence attracts students and faculty from throughout New York, neighboring states, and several foreign countries.