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Casper College Livestock Judging Team Looks Forward to Competing in Contests Across the Nation

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By Colby Hales

It is an exciting time at Casper College for competitive agriculture teams. Even in the midst of the current pandemic, the T-Birds are still able to travel with precautions and do so with success. The sophomore livestock judging team is coming off of a very solid performance at The National Hog Judging Contest, finishing third overall as a team and second in reasons. Ohio native Taylor Feikert lead the team as the ninth high individual overall. The National Hog Show in Des Moines, Iowa was utilized as the replacement to the canceled National Barrow Show, normally held in Austin, Minn. Even though it wasn’t the traditional barrow show experience, these students forged forward with success.

The freshmen and sophomore students competed at the annual Casper College Fall Livestock Judging Contest. With this being only the second contest of the year for the sophomores and first contest for the freshmen, it was exciting for the agriculture department to see the lucrative results. The lead sophomore team was fortunate to be the High Junior College Overall.

Currently, the sophomore judging team is preparing for the upcoming American Royal Livestock Judging Contest in Kansas City, Miss. This will be the first all specie major contest for the second-year students, and they are certainly excited. The team representing Casper College is Emma Mercer, Temma Monroe, Kaylen Stearns, Anna Arstaad, Taylor Feikert, Anthony Barnes, Walker Anttila, Meg Debolt, Morgan Haley, Abby Hudman and Riley Leeson. These students hail from all across the country, from Ohio to Washington.

After the contest in Kansas City, the team will head to the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., the Arizona National in Phoenix, Ariz., Cattlemen’s Congress in Oklahoma City, Okla., Sioux Empire Farm Show in Sioux Falls, S.D., Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic in Kearney, Neb., San Antonio Livestock Exposition in San Antonio, Texas, and they will end their junior college livestock judging career at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, Texas.

The team is lead by Head Coach Dr. Jeremy Burkett and newly hired Assistant Coach Colby Hales. Casper College Livestock Judging Team and the Showing and Fitting Team aspires to teach young agricultural enthusiasts about the importance of learning how to evaluate and care for livestock, while becoming respectable young adults. The program strives to prepare students for the world they are about to enter. 

Casper College has a rich history and winning tradition.  The championship livestock judging team annually ranks among the nation’s elite junior college judging programs.  Students are recruited from Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain region and across the country.  After Casper College, our students are recruited to transfer to elite agricultural universities across the nation.  

The livestock judging team travels and competes on a local, regional and national level.  Travel with the team allows students with an interest in livestock to see some of the most progressive and influential livestock operations throughout the country.

The young adults involved with this team show how much they love the trips, not only from the standpoint of seeing high-quality livestock across the country, but also all of the exciting and memorable memories made on the trips. Another advantage these young adults will have for the rest of their life is the people they will meet, not only on the team they judge with, but students who judge for other competitive teams as well. Some young adults who join the livestock judging team come into this game with absolutely no knowledge of what livestock judging is and with time can become one of the best livestock judgers across the nation. 

When Taylor Feikert, sophomore judger from Millersburg, Ohio, was asked about her judging experience at The National Barrow Show she stated, “We had the great opportunity to attend the National Barrow Show. Classes were full of high-quality livestock. We met genuine people along the way who were a crucial part in our success at National Barrow Show. Judging has been an amazing opportunity to attend college under scholarship and help me best obtain my future goals.”

Colby Hales is the assistant livestock judging coach at Casper College. Visit caspercollege.edu/schools/sci/livestock-judging-team/ for more information.

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