It has been another busy year for members of the Northeast Community College livestock judging team.
The judging season runs during the academic year, which includes participating in competitions generally across the Midwest and to assist in the operation of judging contests and other events. It is not uncommon for sophomore members of the team to log more than 15,000 miles over the school year.
“We participate in two types of contests during the year,” said Michael Roeber, livestock judging team coach. “The nonmajor contests are smaller events where our team members can compete during both their freshman and sophomore years of their judging careers. Team members can only compete in the major contests once during their judging career.”
The team began the season competing in two contests over one weekend in September — the Flinthills/Mid America Classic contest in Hutchinson, Kansas, and the Aksarben Stock Show in Grand Island.
Team member Mariah Frevert, Wayne, placed 12th in swine judging out of 167 contestants in the junior college freshman division of the contest in Hutchinson. While the team did not have anyone place high in the various divisions over the weekend, Roeber said it was a good gauge as to where it was as a team and what it needed to work on.
Another contest all team members participated in this past fall was the Cimarron Classic at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Sophomore team members participated in two major contests this fall — the American Royal Livestock Judging Contest in Kansas City and the North American International Livestock Exposition Contest in Louisville, Kentucky.
Another major contest for the sophomores during the spring semester was the National Western Stock Show in Denver in January. One other large event will be the Houston Livestock Show in March.
There are additional events this spring. All members of the Northeast livestock judging team will compete in the Heart City Bull Bash in Valentine and the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic in Kearney in February, and the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) contest in April at Fort Hays State University in Kansas.
In addition to on-road competitions, the teams are involved in several other activities.
For the past 35 years, members have assisted with the Northeast Community College Livestock Classic Steer and Heifer Show for 4-H and FFA members over the Thanksgiving weekend. The classic, the team’s main fundraiser, attracted more than 400 entries this year.
Northeast has annually fielded a livestock judging team since its debut in 1994.