TEMPLE—Collin Wilson, a member of the Katy FFA Chapter was high point individual in the FFA division of the State Wildlife Recreation Management and Career Development Event. Clayton Atkison of the Burnet County 4-H Chapter was high point individual in the 4-H division. There were two hundred and fifty FFA and 4-H students from across Texas competing on April 23rd, at the Welder Wildlife Foundation located near Sinton.
Wilson and Atkison each received a $500 scholarship from the Wildlife Alliance for Youth (WAY). Wilson also received a $1,000 scholarship from Ducks Unlimited.
The top scoring team in the FFA division was the Katy FFA Chapter and the Burnet County 4-H was the top scoring team in its division.
“The state event brings together FFA and 4-H students who have earned top honors in their respective state regions to compete for the state titles,” said Joe Ray Burkett, WAY Chairman.
The top five teams from each of the ten FFA areas in Texas as well as the top two 4-H teams from each of the five state regions participated in the state contest.
According to Clyde Gottschalk, Program Specialist for the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, “The annual event is sponsored by the WAY which is a group of state, federal, and private organizations working together to provide support and technical assistance to agricultural teachers and 4-H leaders who train youth in various aspects of wildlife conservation and habitat management.”
“The contest challenges students in the areas of plant identification, wildlife plant food preferences, wildlife biological facts, wildlife habitat evaluation, habitat management, fish and game laws, safety in the outdoors, and wildlife identification techniques. The event is directly correlated to the Agricultural Science (AGSC) 381 Wildlife and Recreation Management curriculum and is also supported by curriculum related to AGSC 382, Range Management and Ecology,” added Burkett.
Members of WAY include the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Association of Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts, local soil and water conservation districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas 4-H, Welder Wildlife Foundation, Instructional Materials Service, Texas A&M University, Ducks Unlimited, and the Texas FFA Association.