The Oliver County 4-H team placed fourth in range judging at the National Land and Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma City on May 2. The team consisted of Reanna Schmidt, Rebecca Schmidt and Charlie Liffrig from Center, N.D., and Olivia Klein from Max, N.D. Liffrig placed seventh and Rebecca Schmidt placed 10th in the contest.
The team was coached by Rick Schmidt, North Dakota State University Extension Oliver County agent, and Kevin Sedivec, NDSU Extension rangeland management specialist and Central Grasslands Research Extension Center interim director.
"There are approximately 100 different types of grasses, forbs, legumes and trees that could be in a range contest, and our team has seen about 90 of them during our practices," Schmidt said.
Each contestant attempted to identify 20 plants and their characteristics, and evaluated three ecological sites for their value for quail and beef cattle, Schmidt explained.
On the way to Oklahoma, the team spent three and a half days practicing and learning the plants and how the national contest is run compared to the state contest. They also took in horse races, a zoo and the Express Ranch in Yukon, Okla.
"The team competed well," Schmidt said. "In fact, the team tied for third but lost the tie-breaker."