On Friday April 11 and 12, eight members from Cuba-Rushford traveled to SUNY Cobleskill in Cobleskill, NY to compete in the state career development events for Milk Quality & Products and Meat Evaluation & Technology. On the trip out students toured at Stewart’s Family Farm and Creamery as well as SUNY Oneonta. Over 450 FFA members across the state participated in the three contests that were offered at this state qualifying event. In the Milk Quality & Products competition, Lilah Stroud, Natalie Burrows, Annaleece Melton and Jasmine Roe took a written test on Milk Production including information regarding standards from the federal PMO (Pasteurized Milk Ordinance). They identified cheese samples and their characteristics including fat content and moisture and evaluated fluid milk for flavor defects and scored the samples on their severity. For the team event, they worked together to interpret a variety of test results including bacteria cultures, somatic cell scores and antibiotic testing to make recommendations about practices on a farm. To prepare for the contest, students also learned to complete and interpret a CMT (California Mastitis Test) and an on farm bacteria culture. The Meat Evaluation and Technology Team placed first in their contest and will be representing New York at the National FFA Convention in October 2024. All four team members placed in the top 10 individually, Haydn Jones placed first, Harlie Jones placed second, Gianna Loiacono placed fifth and Madison Morehouse placed ninth. In these contests, students took a written test on food safety practices as it applies to meat processing facilities. They also identified retail cuts of lamb, pork and beef and listed the cut name, primal, and suggested cooking method. For their team event, they calculated a formulation for a ground meat product.