KEYSER - Mineral County FFA Livestock Quiz Bowl team members Derek Alt, (Frankfort High, 11th grade ) Naomi Bane, (Keyser High, 12th grade) Andrew Iser, (Keyser High, 12th grade) and Shawnee Michaels (Frankfort High 11th grade) represented West Virginia this past weekend at the National Western Roundup in Denver, Colorado, and came home the top team in the nation.

For the News Tribune
KEYSER - Mineral County FFA Livestock Quiz Bowl team members Derek Alt, (Frankfort High, 11th grade ) Naomi Bane, (Keyser High, 12th grade) Andrew Iser, (Keyser High, 12th grade) and Shawnee Michaels (Frankfort High  11th grade) represented West Virginia this past weekend at the National Western Roundup in Denver, Colorado, and came home the top team in the nation.
In order to qualify for the event, the Mineral County FFA team won the West Virginia State FFA Livestock Quiz Bowl Competition hosted by Potomac State College this past April.
The Livestock Quiz Bowl was part of the National Roundup held Jan 5-8 held in Denver.
While at the roundup, teams from across the United States and Canada competed in a series of youth development competitions and leadership workshops building personal pride and reinforcing the benefits of setting goals while encouraging decision-making and teamwork skills, critical thinking, and independence.  
This year’s theme was, “Level your Leadership,” which emphasized asking students to Level up and Lead, learn to lead and build self confidence by improving themselves - level by level.  
Goals of the National Western roundup included:
    •    Establish new friendships with fellow 4-H and FFA members and leaders.
    •    Participate in social and educational programs by being a participant, not a spectator.
    •    Experience and develop greater personal growth.
    •    Continue to develop leadership and citizenship skills.
    •    Reach for new career ideas and cultural development in areas of business, agriculture, science, industry, education and the arts.
    •    Share personal experiences with others through things that have been meaningful to your growth and development.
The Livestock Quiz Bowl consisted of a double elimination format with three phases:
Phase One: A one-on-one phase where contestants were  asked questions in the same seat position, beginning with contestants in seat 1, followed by seat 2, 3, and 4.  The contestant who buzzed in first and was acknowledged by the moderator earned the opportunity to answer the question.  Teammate assistance could not be offered or received in this phase.  
Phase Two:  The team phase where team members could discuss the answers but  only the team captain could report the answer.  
 Phase Three: A  Toss Up / Bonus Phase.
To prepare for this level of competition, team members had to be well versed in animal sciences.  Questions covered animal science knowledge including anatomy, physiology, health, and nutrition of beef, sheep, swine, dairy, goat, rabbit, and poultry species.  A percentage of questions were also based on current events in the beef, dairy, goat, sheep, and swine industries including major issues that have affected the livestock industry in many ways such as: animal diseases, exports, animal ID, environmental issues, and regulatory changes.
The Mineral team was undefeated in all rounds, competing in three different phases of state versus state competition and winning the national championship. Utah was named the reserve champion team.  
Team members of the champion and reserve champion teams received plaques, award recognition and a winning team jacket sponsored by Tartar Farm Equipment.  
In addition, Derek Alt of the Mineral County FFA team was recognized as the high scoring individual contestant in the nation.  He will additionally receive a high individual member jacket.  Teammate Andrew Iser was recognized as the third high individual in the nation.
The FFA Livestock Quiz bowl team is one of many opportunities for Mineral County School students enrolled in the local agriculture education program to compete in after school competitions and FFA activities, develop premier leadership, personal growth, and career success.