September 23, 2013
College’s Ag Club assists with livestock judging contest and ag mech show
As the oldest county fair in the state of Texas, it’s no surprise that Washington County Fair turns to the oldest publicly-owned community college in the state for volunteers.
Ninety-five members of the Blinn College Ag Club dedicated an estimated 1,300 hours in assisting with the largest 4-H and FFA livestock judging contest in the state of Texas last week. Blinn students assisted with livestock judging and ran an agricultural mechanics show at the fair.
“Our students get to see how the fair works be around the judges,” Ag and Applied Technologies Instructor Bryn Behnke said. “One of our program’s big selling points is that if they join the Ag Club, we’ll be sure to get them enough volunteer hours so they can fill up a resume. That’s important to us.”
Last year, Blinn’s Ag Club totaled 6,199 hours of service at 124 events. The club partnered with organizations such as 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Coastal Conservation Association of Texas and Texas Parks & Wildlife in organizing and staffing events, and also volunteered at livestock shows, ag mechanics shows and county fairs. At least 80 Blinn students have volunteered at Washington County Fair each of the last six years.
While at the fair, Blinn students also get to compete in a college livestock judging contest that includes two- and four-year colleges and universities from throughout the state, including Texas A&M University, Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M University – Kingsville. Blinn’s livestock judging team placed first at last year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and has won national competitions in six of the last nine years.
Brady Arthur, a sophomore working his second Washington County fair, said the experience is invaluable.
“It’s a great way to get out of the classroom,” he said. “You get to be around people with much more experience and see first-hand how they describe the animals and make their selections. You learn a lot that way.”
Blinn’s Division of Agricultural Sciences is one of the College’s fastest growing divisions with approximately 800 students currently enrolled – roughly four times the size of any other two-year agricultural program in the state. Blinn offers agriculture classes on all of its campuses, with the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex in Brenham serving as the program’s hub.
In addition to its excellence in the classroom, Blinn offers extracurricular educational activities in the areas of livestock judging, agriculture club, wildlife, agriculture mechanics, horticulture and agriculture sciences.
For more information on Blinn’s ag science program, visit: www.blinn.edu/agriculture.