COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Extension 4-H State Livestock Judging Contest on September 8 drew 148 competing 4-H members.

Working in partnership with volunteers from across the state the contestants were provided an opportunity to develop and hone their judging skills, and explore future career and educational options.

Youth involved with the livestock judging program develop key life skills to aid in their future career success. Through involvement in a 4-H judging team members must make rapid, logical decisions and defend their decisions via oral reasons. Students improve their ability for critical thinking and accurate communication. In addition, students become organized and self-disciplined, learn to accept criticism, develop self-confidence and become leaders. Alumni from the program have reported success in the livestock judging competition has translated to employment opportunities, internships and scholarships.

The 2018 contest included two age divisions: Junior for ages 8 – 13 and Senior for ages 14 – 18.

The top ten 8-10 year old competitors were Olivia Walrod, Vernon county, first; Trenton Edwards, Warren County, 2nd, Selby Hulse, Marion County, 3rd, Brandon Plassmeyer, Miller County 4th, Forkner Rhett, Cedar County 5th, Kelsey Sparks, Linn county, 6th, Braden Stimpson, Livingston County, 7th, Savannah Miller, Warren County 8th, Jacee Carroll, Cass County, 9th, and JW Noxon, Lincoln County, 10th.

The top 10 junior competitors were Lexi Koelling, Pike County, 1st, Callie Jennings, Boone County, 2nd, Gentry Duncan, Boone County, 3rd, Jaycie Stimpson, Livingston County, 4th, Olivia Walrod, Vernon County, 5th, Brayden Gast, Cedar County 6th, Charley Fanning, Barton County, 7th, Trenton Edwards, Warren County 8th, Alaina Link, Randolph County 9th, Sarah Carroll, Cass County, 10th.

The top five junior teams represented the following counties: Vernon County, first, Cedar County, second, Bates County, third, Boone County fourth, and Randolph County, fifth.

In the senior division, the top 10 individuals were Cole Murphy, Saline County, 1st, Soyer Wimer, Mercer County 2nd, Payton Nix, Wright County 3rd, Kaitlin Kleiboeker, Lawence County, 4th, Brenden Kleiboeker, Lawrence County, 5th, Kaitlyn Cloud, Jasper County, 6th, Logan Krohn, Mercer County, 7th, Riley Spurgeon, Crawford County, 8th, Quincy Wiegand, Randolph County, 9th, Alexandra Gast, Vernon County, 10th.

The top five senior teams represented the following counties: Mercer County, first, Lawrence County, second, Vernon County, third, Bates County, fourth, and Miller County, fifth.

In 2019, members of the three championship senior teams will advance to national 4-H livestock judging contests held in the fall.

Contributed by Stephanie Gooden-4-H Youth Program Associate for Saline County