Livestock Judging Team Has New Fire


Brandi Peverley

Allen’s Livestock Judging Team consists of, back row from left, Reece Mader, Mason Plunk, Kyle Bauer), Brandon Curry, Brian Palmer, and Michael Mcfarland. Front from left are Quentin Haas, Jenna Thurman, Gentri Collins, Bailey Corwine, Reba McCarty, and Blayne Richardson. Not pictured is Stephanie Riegel.

Brandi Peverley, Student Activities Editor

The Allen Community College livestock judging team has been around for decades and gives agriculture students and others a chance to travel the country and see some of the best livestock there is to offer. The participants can receive scholarships, and team members practice multiple times weekly.

The team will attend roughly 10 contests per semester and will also have the opportunity to compete on the national floor. The students learn to evaluate livestock visually and based on their expected progeny differences. They also give multiple sets of reasons in a politically correct format explaining why they placed the class accordingly and what they noticed in each animal. The contests normally consists of 8-12 classes with four different species: cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. Horses are also judged at the national level contest in Fort Worth, Texas. They typically have to recite six to eight sets of reasons.

These contests take place from the crack of dawn until awards in the evening. It takes a certain level of dedication and passion for the livestock industry to participate in such a trying activity. Many of the students plan to stay in the agriculture industry and return with new ideas and expertise to their family operations.

This year the team is under new coaching as Allen welcomed Buddy Curry to its employ. He has specialties judging livestock, horses, and poultry. He comes with experience from coaching at West Texas A&M, Frank Phillips College, Fort Hays State, and most recently Coffeyville Community College. He brought four judgers who are sophomores now at Allen with him to help put the judging team back on its feet.

The team has been to two contests thus far and though it isn’t where it would like to be, the learning curve is tremendous and there’s nowhere to go but up.

Kyle Bauer a sophomore, said, “It was a really rough freshman year (in 2015-16) with a lot of tension losing our coach and our farm, but I have high hopes for the future and am excited to see what this year holds.”

Though this year will face some challenges meshing two teams and adapting to changes that occurred with the program last year, Curry is confident in the future of the program. Curry also says he sees positivity in the Allen ag program as a whole. The school now has three teachers who have master’s degrees and many years of experience between them.

The students aren’t only learning how to judge livestock, they’re learning to defend their answers and be able to make logical decisions. Even if the point isn’t to stay in the ag program or return to a family operation, these critical thinking skills are beneficial in all aspects of life.

“One small change can spark wonders,” Curry noted. “These kids have pulled together and we will continue to improve and progress.”