(SWITZ CITY) - Members of the White River Valley FFA Chapter competed in and won the FFA Division of the National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) held in Columbia, Mo. on July 27-30.
Team members consisted of Joshlyn Held, Chris Little, Savanna Hancock, Isaac Murdock, and Christian Crowe was the alternate.
They swept the FFA division with Held winning first place individual, Little second, and Hancock third.
Seventeen states were represented this year with Tennessee winning the 4-H division.
The WHEP competition consists of four parts.
In the first, the students were given an area within the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge and had to individually determine the best management practices to put in place for various wetland game and non-game species of wildlife given a scenario.
In the second part of the contest, the team was given a scenario and an area within the refuge and had to write a two page management plan for five species.
Team members then did an oral defense of their plan in front of wildlife experts and participated in a Wildlife Challenge which consisted of identification and general knowledge of wildlife habitat requirements, food needed, migration patterns, and wildlife management practices.
The team would like to thank Crowe Farms and Murdock Farms for letting them practice on their land, UDWI-REMC for the Community Fund grant, and Travis Stoelting,Assistant Property Manager for Goose Pond, Minnehaha, Hillenbrand, and Fairbanks Landing Fish and Wildlife Areas, for his time in assisting the team in a practice at Goose Pond.
The National WHEP contest was sponsored by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Forever, University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
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