A summer series of livestock judging camps designed to boost skills among 4-H’ers – and increase opportunities for college scholarships – culminated at the state fair when the top scorers in three divisions were recognized.
University of Wyoming livestock judging team coach Caleb Boardman presented 307 Livestock Judging Series certificates to five senior, five intermediate and three junior participants.
4-H’ers could compete in twelve 307 Livestock Judging days and camps. They had to attend at least three and then compete at the Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo, noted Boardman.
“We are trying to give students interested in judging more opportunities to compete,” Boardman said. “The more experience you get, the better you will be.”
All-State Award recipients in their divisions and their counties are:
Juniors (ages 8-10) – Riley Lake, Albany; Emmy Hornecker, Natrona; Paiyzli Baker, Sublette.
Intermediate (ages 11-13) – Kymber Stinson, Albany; McKinly Hepp, Johnson; Emma Gonzalez, Laramie; Garrett Burkett, Brekken Hornecker, Natrona.
Seniors (ages 14-18) – Kemsley Gallegos, Alexis Lake, Saige Ward, Albany; Emma Mercer, Big Horn; Logan Mehling, Park.
There are sports camps in summer, why not livestock judging camps, asked Boardman, who noted the camps have aided student recruitment to UW.
“I don’t want to take anything away from sports, but the majority of students from Wyoming, if they get scholarships, will be academic or agricultural scholarships,” he said. “If you look at the ag industry, UW Extension and the college of agriculture, all of these students are working toward gaining a scholarship and being on a collegiate competition team.”
Extension educators and specialists, Wyoming community college instructors and department heads, and members of the UW livestock judging team joined in the program.
Camps at community colleges were three days; 4-H’ers attended two days of training then competed the final day. County events were one day.
Extension educators in the individual counties organized the camps, and UW livestock judging team members assisted, as did others from the community colleges.
“It’s been fantastic,” said Boardman. “This is our second year doing it, and our numbers continue to grow.”
Boardman noted there were 51 senior 4-H’ers, 66 intermediate and 25 junior participants. The program is being offered again this year.
The training for the 4-H’ers would not be possible without sponsors, he said. First Northern Bank was a main sponsor of $2,500 to support all of the contests.
Other sponsors were Casper College, Eastern Wyoming College, Northwest College, Laramie County Community College, Burch Livestock and Hay, Pickinpaugh Livestock, 3D Livestock, Custis Showpigs/ShowTec Feeds, M Lazy Heart Feed Division, On The Mark Feeds and Sublette County 4-H.