Stock dog reboot in 2021
Ag students overcome adversity faced from COVID- 19
STOCK DOGSOVERCOMING ADVERSITY IN AG
BY GRACE HALL
THE STOCK DOG TRIAL is back for the 2021Expo. In 2020 most trials were halted due toCOVID- 19. The last event was held in October 2019. Ther Stock Dog Trials are sponsored by Tyson Steel.
Jim Shepard, the Stock Dog Trial director
for the Sunbelt Ag Expo, is excited to be back
this upcoming year. When asking him about
this years’ trial he said, “We are looking for-
ward to restarting the trial and seeing dogs
work again in Moultrie.”
Shepard has been working with stock
dogs for the last 25 years. In those years he
has competed in the Expo and now helps
with the event here at the Expo.
Most of the handlers for this years’ eventare from Georgia and Florida. These trials areopen to all breeds, but border collies alwayscome to win at the Expo.
Stock dogs help direct and control herds
of various animals. The various varieties of
stock dogs have the natural ability to direct
the larger animals with movements and ges-
tures. These dogs help assist farmers and
ranchers with a variety of tasks.
The trials will be separated into twoclasses, the ProNovice and the Open trialdivisions. These classes however are notbased on age. They are based on maturityand experience with the Open class beingthe highest-class level.
The ProNovice trial begins Monday andends on Wednesday with winners every day.
There will also be an overall ProNovice cham-
pion. This division is for the dog and han-
dler combination that has never competed
in an open trial before. This course is usually
smaller for the inexperienced pairing.
The second classification is the opendivision is the open class. This class is forthe more advanced division. The open trialbegins on Tuesday and ends on Thursdaywith winners each day. There will also be anoverall Open Sheep Champion. This will bebased on the total number of points that areawarded over the three days.
The stock dog competition is always agreat event at the Expo. Be sure to get thereearly for great seating and to watch the dogsshow off their herding ability.
BY AVA JANE TEASLEY
THE PHRASE, “Living to Serve” in the NationalFFA motto continued to live on through FFAmembers during the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought. National FFA President Doster Harper said even though muchof the world was forced to stop, FFA members kept going.
“Since March of 2020, how we do things
as servant leaders have changed a lot,”
Harper said. “But why we do them hasn’t
changed at all. This year, we’ve answered
the challenge of finding new and unique
ways to live to serve.”
Above all else, FFA members, alumni,
and supporters have taken advantage of
an opportunity to use a situation to share
the positive message of agriculture and its
FFA chapters across the nation have
hosted virtual chapter meetings, members
have continued to work hard on farms to
keep our food, fuel, and fiber supply con-
sistent, and stakeholders and alumni have
invested time and resources to help these
Harper said that this year, FFA members
have shown him the resiliency and ability
to adapt to change that it takes to be an
impactful leader in the twenty-first century.
"If you are looking for the next genera-
tion of leaders who will change this world,
no matter what that world
may look like, then look for
blue corduroy jackets.”
Many of the lead-
ers will travel to Moultrie
for the Sunbelt Ag Expo.
FFA members from Geor-
gia, Alabama, Florida, and
other surrounding areas
will visit the hub of agri-
culture innovation and
meet with industry lead-
ers. Students will have the
opportunity to participate
in events, competitions,
Georgia FFA State President, Nate Mc-
Kinney, said that combating adversity is just
one more tool in the belt of a FFA member.
“We are looking for ward to seeing morein-person events this year,” McKinney said.“Traditional experiences allow us to connect to our agricultural roots and take stepstowards the future.”