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West Holt Wins State Range Contest

            Four hundred seventy-eight high school students from across Nebraska visited Holt County on September 25th to test their knowledge of rangeland management during the 65th Annual Nebraska State Range Judging Contest. Contestants compete as individuals and as teams in either the Junior or Senior Division. West Holt finished as State Champions in both the senior and junior divisions.

            The Senior Division included 209 individuals and 42 teams. Members of the first place senior team and their individual ranking are Martin Wentworth (2nd – State Runner-up), Aaron Kraus (5th), Jackson Butterfield (8th), and Garrison Hansen (9th). Coming in second was a team from Ord, Sargent finished third. West Holt’s team of Ellie Burkinshaw (12th), Joseph Seger (17th), Jaegher Ogden (19th), and Ben Slaymaker (43rd) finished 4th.

            The Junior Division included 249 individuals and 61 teams. West Holt’s team of Lucas Olson (1st – State Champion), Sadie Jareck (5th), Isaac Pistulka (5th), and EmiLee Walnofer (6th) was the Junior Division State Champion. Burwell had the state runner-up team; Sargent finished 3rd. Asher McCart (14th), Weston Mathis (18th), Tyler Jelinek (24th), and Courtney Kellner (27th) finished as the 5th place team. Placing 8th was the team of Caid McCart, Channing Ogden, Trinton Uecker, and Jaden Mathis. Alexis Stracke, Grady Smith, Kelcie Osborne, and Maci Nemetz finished as the 16th place team.

            Range Judging Contests test the participants’ skills and knowledge of plant identification, ecological site identification and composition, rangeland conservation and grazing management.  While studying for range judging competitions, students learn about one of Nebraska’s major land uses. Rangelands cover nearly 50% of Nebraska and approximately 60% of the United States.  Even if these young contest participants do not pursue a career in rangeland or natural resource management, they will gain an understanding of a major natural resource that will be remembered throughout their lifetimes.


2019 State Range Judging Senior Division Champions: Garrison Hansen, Aaron Kraus, Jackson Butterfield, and Martin Wentworth


2019 State Range Judging Junior Division Champions: Isaac Pistulka, EmiLee Walnofer, Lucas Olson, and Sadie Jarecke

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