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University of Illinois Extension serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

Montgomery County
#1 Industrial Park Dr.
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-3941
FAX: 217-532-3944
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

Christian County
1120 N Webster St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-287-7246
FAX: 217-287-7248
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 11:30 am; 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Jersey County
201 W. Exchange St.
Suite A
Jerseyville, IL 62052
Phone: 618-498-2913
FAX: 618-498-5913
Hours: Tuesday & Wednesday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4 pm and Thursday 8 am to 12 pm

Macoupin County
#60 Carlinville Plaza
Carlinville, IL 62626
Phone: 217-854-9604
FAX: 217-854-7804
Hours: Monday - Thursday 8 am to 12 pm; 1 pm to 4:30 pm

News Release

Accent photo

Montgomery County 4-H Members Shine at State Livestock Judging Contest

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,