March 3, 2016 By: Sandi Argo
Thursday, March 3, was a busy time to be in Jacksboro. For those of us that work in the town, even the usual routine of getting lunch became a challenge due to the influx of students from other towns that had gathered for one of several competitions.
Out at the Jack County Fair barn and Twin Lakes Activity Center, students met for agriculture competitions. From floral judging to goat judging, students from as far away as Sweetwater came to show they knew their stuff! Different from showing a project, students must look at subjects as judges, using skills they have been taught to determine the top of the class, and the bottom, then explain the reasoning behind their decisions.
In the flora-culture competition, students had to identify various plant varieties. Not an easy task if one has never stopped to smell the roses, let alone know that the species is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae. Or that there are over 100 species and thousands of cultivars.
Outside, the judging was geared toward the 4 legged projects. Goats, pigs, sheep and cattle were divided into their pens and students (many of whom had been showing their own animals in county and major livestock shows recently) got the chance to be the judge. Knowing what characteristics are favored in each species, kids put the animals under close scrutiny.
Although the wind was gusty, the weather provided for a spectacular day. With several hundred students and teachers estimated, being able to move around outside was a bonus. A large number of students gathered at noon for burgers, provided by the Jacksboro FFA. Many others headed to town before loading up in the vans and buses they arrived in. Results from the competitions will arrive soon to the schools.
On the other side of town, a completely different competition was going on at the Middle School Auditorium. Whereas the sweet aroma of burgers on the grill tickled the sense of smell, it was the ears that were the benefactors of this competition. Concert bands took to the stage in their attempt to wow the judges. The prize they sought was a Division 1 ranking, and Jacksboro’s own got very close, coming in with a Division 2.
An estimated 1100 students were expected for the competition, which went on all day and into the evening. Each band brought their own style to the stage. Some dressed in marching band uniforms, some in a more formal attire, playing anything from the classical tunes to a rag time, and anything in between. One thing rang true throughout the competition, there was a large amount of talent presented. The many hours dedicated from these students showed through and listening to them play made for the most pleasant of afternoons.