Youth apply skills at 2016 Michigan 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest

The 2016 Michigan 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest had 162 youth compete in six divisions – a record number of contestants!

Top 20 contestants showcase their skills at the state livestock judging contest. Photo: Kendra VanOrder.

Top 20 contestants showcase their skills at the state livestock judging contest. Photo: Kendra VanOrder.

Youth applied more than just their ability to evaluate livestock at the Michigan 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest held July 14, 2016. Problem-solving and decision-making were among the skills contestants demonstrated as they critically evaluated the eight classes of livestock. They then recalled information based on their notes to answer questions or deliver oral reasons on specific classes. Throughout the day, youth were challenged to make decisions and were rewarded for their efforts.

The contest is run by Michigan State University Extension, and again increased in size with a record number of contestants. The contest featured six divisions: 4-H Cloverbud (non-competitive), Junior 4-H, Junior High FFA, Michigan Livestock Expo division, High School FFA and Senior 4-H. The event would not have been possible without Michigan farms allowing the use of animals. Livestock for the contest was provided by: AcMoody Farms, G & G Cattle Co., Hunt’s Boer Goats, Johnson family, MSU Swine Teaching and Research Center, Reid Livestock Co., Reidoca Angus and the Souva family. Financial support for the contest was provided by the Michigan Angus Association, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Steve and Nancy Thelen. 

Youth were awarded prizes in the various divisions. Special congratulations to the eight 4-H Cloverbud participants ages 7-8. In the Junior 4-H division (ages 9-13), the team from Washtenaw County 4-H consisting of Lee Blumenauer, Noah Ford and Jaycie Brown placed first. The top-ranking individual in the 4-H Junior and FFA Junior High contests was Macie Slee from Shiawassee County. The team of Kyle Griffith, Matthew Meyer, Braxton Teachworth and Samantha Teachworth took home the state title in the Junior High FFA Team division representing Ionia FFA. In the Michigan Livestock Expo division, Cameron Hayden of Cassopolis was the top-ranking individual.

Winning the Senior FFA Team division and having the opportunity to represent Michigan FFA at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the team from Branch Area Career Center consisting of Lydia AcMoody, Cailyn Hines, Payton Hines and Kollin Johnson. In addition to the team prizes and winning the Dr. David Hawkins’ Trophy, each team member also received a $125 scholarship as part of the Team Building Award program from the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund. Cailyn Hines also was named the high individual in this division.

In the Senior 4-H division, our largest division representing youth ages 14-18, the Branch County team consisting of Lydia AcMoody, Payton Hines, Kollin Johnson and Kade Shiery took home top honors. The team will have the opportunity to represent Michigan 4-H in Kansas City, Missouri, at the American Royal. Each team member received prizes and a $125 scholarship as part of the Team Building Award program from the Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund.

Individuals were also recognized in the Michigan 4-H Senior division in preparation for forming two additional teams. The top 20 placing 4-H individuals are eligible to compete for a place on one of two teams consisting of youth from across the state. One team will judge at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, and the other will compete at the Keystone International Livestock Exposition in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The following top-ranking contestants will have the opportunity to compete for one of eight spots to represent Michigan 4-H in Louisville or Harrisburg. The top 20 individuals from eight different counties include:

  1. Payton Hines, Branch County
  2. Victoria Olger, Clinton County
  3. Claire Zahm, Ottawa County
  4. Mary Mulder, Allegan County
  5. Kate Miller, Livingston County
  6. Madeline Meyer, Ionia County
  7. Shannon Veld, Allegan County
  8. Miles Wixom, Allegan County
  9. Esther Schmidt, Livingston County
  10. Lydia AcMoody, Branch County
  11. Kaleb Bickel, Lapeer County
  12. Kade Shiery, Branch County
  13. Abigail Olger, Clinton County
  14. Cassie Perrin, Ottawa County
  15. Kyle Schoenborn, Ottawa County
  16. Madison Walz, Livingston County
  17. Tyler Neukom, Branch County
  18. Jenna Kingsley, Livingston County
  19. Makenna Kern, Washtenaw County
  20. Tyler Rozema, Ottawa County

Donations to support the travel for the Michigan 4-H national livestock judging teams will be accepted through fall. Thank you to our 2016 donors for their support: Fifth Third Michigan State Fair, Michigan Club Lamb Association, Michigan Youth Livestock Scholarship Fund, L.C. and Jackie Scramlin, and Steve and Nancy Thelen. If you are interested in providing support to assist the teams with travel expenses, please contact me, Julie Thelen, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 517-432-1626.

To learn more about livestock judging and the 2017 contest, visit the Michigan 4-H Animal Evaluation page or the MSU Extension website for animal science content.

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