Texas FFA News  
Judging Card: An Innovative CDE Results System    
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | Author: Shannon O'Quinn, Texas FFA News Staff

Every spring, Texas FFA members compete in Career Development Events across the state. In recent years, JudgingCard.com has become an integral part of the judging process, allowing contestants to see results only hours after competing, creating a turnaround time that previously had not been possible.

Clay Ewell, owner and CEO of Judging Card, began working on a more efficient way to score CDEs in 1993 when he was only 15-years-old. At that point, CDEs were scored by hand and results would take days or weeks to be tabulated and were susceptible to human error. 

Clay worked to develop software that could interface with a Scantron scanner and paper scan sheets. By 2004, Clay was designing and shipping his own scan sheets for use in nearly every FFA judging contest in Texas.

JudgingCard is a family owned and operated company dedicated to working together to ensure contests run smoothly and questions and concerns get answered. Today, the business also staffs Clay’s brother Russell Ewell and his sister-in-law Alyssa Ewell.

“I like to think that JudgingCard became so integral to CDEs because there just isn't a better way out there to tabulate these results,” said Alyssa, who acts as Managing Director of Ewell Educational Services and Judging Card. “Computer tabulation has made it possible to have more judging contests and bigger contests, like the Tarleton State University Invitational with over 9,000 contestants.” 

In the beginning of the business, Clay would travel to each CDE in Texas and score the event on-site. As the company has grown, groups all over the country have their own scanners and the ability to tabulate the contests, with JudgingCard serving as a support line to ensure all results are correct once the contest data is uploaded. Additionally, JudgingCard now scores the National FFA CDE contests every October in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The company is continuing to grow and expand and is exploring new, improved ways to score events and develop scan sheets.

“We work to maintain very close ties with teachers, university staff, and state staff,” Alyssa said.  “It doesn't matter what day or time it is; we always answer our phones and we always answer our emails promptly to help people with questions.”

*Editor’s Note: The Texas FFA Association Staff would like to sincerely thank Judging Card and the Ewell family for their time and years of dedication to Texas Agriculture Education and the Texas FFA. 

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