What the Hay!?!

Jenna+Goodwin%2C+Ella+Morton%2C+Anna+Dyess%2C+Kaylynn+Morris%2C+Zachary+King+and+Jazmin+Vences+with+their+awards+from+the+Cherokee+County+Hay+Judging+Competition

Jenna Goodwin, Ella Morton, Anna Dyess, Kaylynn Morris, Zachary King and Jazmin Vences with their awards from the Cherokee County Hay Judging Competition

Micah Solly

On Oct. 20  Rusk Ag students competed in the Cherokee County Hay Judging contest. A total of 48 contestants from Rusk competed in either the FFA or 4-H categories.  

Rusk took the top 3 places in the  FFA  category: Zachary King placed first, Anna Dyess second and Jenna Goodwin third, as well as several top placings in the 4-H category: Kara Wofford placed first, Jackson Dowling placed fourth and Jacob Dowling placed fifth.

Placing first in this contest requires some real skill and tons of practice.

“We went over it every day for about two weeks,” Zach said. “I’ve been doing the contest for about four years.”

In judging hay there are several factors the contestants have to consider like maturity, seed heads, foreign matter and color.

“After you look at the maturity and texture and stuff you get to look a four samples of hay and you have to pick which one is the better than the other one,” senior FFA member Paden Wilcox said. “You put them in order from best to worst based on maturity and texture foreign matter and all that other stuff.”

One of the big challenges in hay judging is that participants cannot handle the hay however they please.

“You can only touch it with the back of your hand,” Paden Wilcox said. “you can’t sift through it.”

People that compete in hay judging tend to be passionate about it.

“I’ve done it for my five years of Ag,” senior Ag member Allen Dotson said, “and I like hay.”