4 high school students in blue FFA jackets hold awards
From left, Dylan Springer, Hayden Baker, Hailey Frazee, and Aiden Kapper at the Eastern States Exposition FFA awards banquet in Springfield, Massachusetts. Credit: East Knox FFA

HOWARD — The East Knox FFA recently represented the state of Ohio at the Eastern Regional National FFA Milk Quality & Products Career Development Event at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts on Sept. 14 to 16. 

Juniors Dylan Springer, Hayden Baker and Aiden Kapper and graduate Hailey Frazee placed first out of a field of FFA teams representing the 18 states in the Eastern Region of the United States. 

Individually, all four team members placed in the top eight with Dylan Springer finishing third, Hayden Baker placing fourth, Hailey Frazee finishing fifth, and Aiden Kapper ranking eighth. 

The top five teams and the top nine individuals in the eastern region received awards for their ranking at the banquet held on Saturday night at the Sheraton Hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

The team qualified for the Eastern Regional CDE by placing second in the State Milk Quality & Products Career Development Event held at the Ohio Exposition Center in Columbus last March. 

Individually, in the State contest, Springer placed third, Baker finished 21st, and Frazee finished 47th out of 31 contestants.

In the event competitors had to identify off-flavors and intensity of the flavor in 10 milk samples; recognize dairy and nondairy products and determine milk fat percentage or vegetable fat in the samples; identify cheeses from a list of 20 and complete a cheese matrix including moisture and fat content, origin, pasta filata, how it was ripened, and brine or surface salted; complete a California Mastitis Test on milk samples: and complete a written test including problem solving questions. 

The Milk Quality & Products event is an educational activity designed as a practical method of teaching students to perform hands-on skills and to identify various dairy products and quality problems associated with milk.

This is the fifth time that East Knox FFA has competed nationally in the Milk Quality & Products contest and the 15th year that a team has placed in the top ten in the state.