Virginia’s 4-H Livestock Judging Team placed third overall in this year’s National 4-H Livestock Judging Competition held during the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 15.

Twenty-eight teams competed, with the Illinois and Georgia teams placing first and second, respectively. The Virginia team’s third-place finish makes it eligible to represent the U.S. in next year’s Royal Highland Show in Scotland, along with the first- and second-place teams.

Virginia’s team members are

  • Elizabeth Nixon of Orange County;
  • Colby Redifer of Montgomery County;
  • Coffman Liggett of Augusta County;
  • Jordan McCammon of Rockingham County; and
  • Jack Redifer (alternate) of Montgomery County.

Contestants judged four classes of beef cattle, three classes of sheep, three classes of swine, and one class of market goats and answered 10 questions about a class of sheep and a class of swine. They also gave four sets of oral reasons explaining how they judged the different livestock classes.

“When analyzing a class of four animals, the youth must have keen critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. They must also make solid decisions that they can later defend when presenting the reasons regarding the placing to an official,” said Paige Pratt, 4-H youth livestock Extension specialist at Virginia Tech and the team’s coach. “The skills they gain from these events will provide them with the tools to be more successful when making decisions later in life.”

As individuals, Nixon placed 10th overall and Colby Redifer placed 11th. Both were named All-Americans. The Virginia team also placed second overall in beef cattle, fifth in swine, sixth in sheep, and ninth in oral reasons.

The team will travel to Europe in June 2012 and will be fundraising for the trip until then. In addition to participating in the Royal Highland Show, the group will have the opportunity to visit several other European countries to learn about their agriculture systems.

The Virginia 4-H Foundation’s 4-H Livestock Youth Development Endowment provided support for the team’s travels this fall.  

For more information about supporting the team or any youth livestock event in Virginia, contact Paige Pratt at 540-231-4732.

 

 

Written by Kelly Robinson, a senior majoring in communications and international studies and an intern for the Office of Communications and Marketing in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.