Learning to analyze and compare classes of livestock has been the focus of the Livestock 4-H Club for the past couple of months in preparation for the Auburn Block and Bridle annual judging contest. To prepare for the contest, 4-H’ers worked with Mark Mauldin, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent with UF/IFAS Extension Washington County. Mauldin has been teaching them how to analyze livestock by individually comparing them to the ideal animal of that species and to the other animals in the classes. Youth must develop strategies to determine how to place the livestock. Following placing the classes, youth must give reasons to the judges on how and why they placed their classes.
The benefits of livestock judging are great; youth learn how to take notes, critically analyze the pros and cons of an animal then justify their decision orally communicating from memory. Team members develop self-confidence and teamwork skills, travel to new locations and meet people from other places with similar interests as theirs.
Mauldin, who was a member of the University of Florida Livestock Judging Team, has mentioned the friendships and contacts he made through livestock judging have lasted into his career. In addition to being exposed to career options in the livestock industry, many times youth make contact with people who they may later work with in college or in their future careers.
Livestock 4-H Club leader, Diane Webb, says that nothing can replace the friendships and experiences developed through livestock judging, and as a 20 year volunteer for Washington County 4-H, she knows what she’s talking about. Club members will stay active through the summer working on their skills to prepare for the judging contests that will take place in the fall.
Two classes each of sheep, swine and heifers were the species judged by intermediate 4-H members Cody Daimler, Cy Pettis, Brayden Price, Landen Pettis, and Lillian Sparks and senior 4-H members Kayla Daimler, Tia Leather and Julie Serpas at the Auburn Block and Bridle Contest.
Landen Pettis – 2nd overall high individual, 5th place swine judging and 10th place beef judging
Lillian Sparks – 9th place in oral reasons
Cody Daimler, Landen Pettis, Cy Pettis and Lillian Sparks – 9th place overall intermediate team
Kayla Daimler, Tia Leather and Julie Serpas – 8th place overall senior team
For more information on the Livestock 4-H Club in Washington County, call/email 4-H Agent, Julie P. Dillard at 850-638-6180 or email@example.com.