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Montgomery County 4-H Members Shine at State Livestock Judging Contest
June 27, 2016
A tradition of learning; a tradition of winning
Livestock judging is more than just selecting what animal looks best in the ring. In livestock judging, youth must rank four animals from best to worst based on their physical traits, such as bone structure and mobility; their performance data, such as growth rate or calving ease; and their potential profitability. Their ranking is compared to the official placing to determine part of their score.
In addition, youth must remember specific characteristics of each animal presented and respond to random questions about each animal, such as which was the bolder-ribbed, stouter-made heifer. 4-H members not only have to know the right answer; they have to remember it long after the class leaves the ring. Older members must then provide reasons for their selections orally to a panel of judges and defend their placings in the class.
“Livestock judging teaches decision making and public speaking,” said Dan Jennings, U of I Extension Animal Science Educator. “It forces youth to quickly recall facts, make a choice based on what they know and what they see, and then defend that choice to industry leaders.”
Five members from the Montgomery County 4-H participated in the state 4-H Livestock Judging Contest on Monday, June 20th. Members who participated were Dominic Ruppert, Cody Knodle, Ethan Knodle, Ty Knodle, and Wyatt Dooley. Overall, the members had a pretty successful day. In the Junior Livestock Judging Contest, Ty Knodle placed first overall individually, therefore winning the junior division. Some of Ty’s highlights were, he was 2nd in cattle, 5th in swine and 13th in sheep and goats. Participants of the Junior Livestock Judging Contest had to sort eight placing classes, and answer three sets of questions. In the senior division, participants had to sort eight placing classes, answer three sets of questions, and give three sets of oral reasons. Both Cody Knodle and Dominic Ruppert were in the top 30 participants in the senior division. The top 30 participants have the chance to compete to be on the Illinois State 4-H team in July.
Several former state 4-H livestock judging team members from past years assisted with this year’s contest. 4-H members who advance to national judging contests receive financial support from the Illinois 4-H Foundation and its supporters.
Local Contact: Elisha Hughes, Program Coordinator, 4-H and Youth Development, firstname.lastname@example.org