The last time Cameron University was represented at collegiate livestock judging competitions, “Return of the Jedi” dominated the movie box office, Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” ruled the radio airwaves. Phased out in early 1980s, Cameron’s livestock judging team boasted a couple of individual champions in the late 1970s. Two years ago, the Cameron University Department of Agriculture signaled its intention to resurrect a livestock judging team with the addition of Justin Rogers as Livestock Judging Coordinator. Rogers has assembled a five-member team made up of Will Arnold, Ennis, Texas; Jessica Cauthon, Lawton; Chance Clinton, Holdenville; Clay Dolch, Verden; and Cody Julian, Elgin, which made its competition debut earlier this year.
“We spent several weeks throughout the fall semester and early this semester at some practice contests, where our team members evaluated classes of cattle, hogs, sheep, goats and horses,” says Rogers. “The team finished in the top 10 in our first competition, the Willow Springs Classic, a good showing for a debut effort.”
In mid-January, the Aggies headed to the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo., for two rounds of competition. During the Livestock Judging – Senior College Division, the team evaluated 12 classes of beef, sheep, goats and swine, providing oral reasons in eight of those classes. Arnold finished in eighth place among 127 competitors in the Market Steers section.
In the National Western Stock Show Senior College Carload Judging Contest, the team evaluated six different classes of cattle: Angus bulls, Limousin bulls, Hereford heifers, Market steers, Commercial heifers and Charolais bulls. Overall, the Aggies finished 14th out of 26 teams.
Just a few weeks later, they headed to the Fort Worth Stock Show Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest, claiming a sixth place team finish after evaluating cattle, horses, sheep and swine and providing oral reasons. Arnold tied for fifth in the sheep category, and Clinton claimed a top 20 finish in swine.
“Participating in big national competitions at Denver and Fort Worth has helped Cameron’s team make significant strides in their ability to evaluate all classes of livestock,” Rogers says. “With each competition, they have become much more competitive in oral reasons, an important component of the scoring system.”
Cameron’s livestock judging team follows the policies set forth by the National Collegiate Livestock Coaches Association. Team members are limited to one competitive season.
With the spring competition season complete, the team will devote time to practice evaluations in preparation for the Fall 2015 show season. Upcoming competitions will include the 69th Annual National Barrow Show in Austin, Minn.; the Kansas Junior Livestock Show in Hutchinson, Kan.; the Flint Hills Classic in El Dorado, Kan.; the Tulsa State Fair; the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo.; and the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.
“Great things are to come,” says Rogers. “This is only the beginning.”
February 20, 2015