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November 20, 2012
by Coleman Cornelius
The Colorado State University Livestock Judging Team on Nov. 13 was crowned Reserve National Champion at the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest, tailing the champion squad by just nine out of 5,000 possible points in an accomplishment last attained in 2005.
"This is fabulous," Kevin Pond, head of the CSU Department of Animal Sciences, proclaimed. "This achievement is a tremendous reflection of our students' talents and persistence, and we are very proud of the learning and teamwork they have demonstrated at the national finals."
The team from Oklahoma State University edged out the CSU team to win the national championship during the contest held Monday at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky. Rounding out the top five were teams from Western Illinois University, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University.
A total of 28 teams, representing the country’s best agricultural colleges, competed in the national championship. Students evaluated classes of cattle, swine and sheep – then explained their evaluations in oral presentations to contest officials. The CSU Livestock Judging Team finished second overall in swine, third in sheep, fourth in cattle and seventh in oral reasons, a consistency that put them in the spot of reserve champ.
The high-pressure contest requires extensive knowledge of livestock physiology, market demands and consumer desires, as well as persuasive public-speaking skills.
Shane Bedwell, faculty member in the CSU Department of Animal Sciences and team coach, praised students for their technical knowledge of animal agriculture, teamwork, communication abilities, and the time management required to balance classwork and significant team demands.
"These students are smart and very talented. A win like this speaks a lot about the quality of students in the Department of Animal Sciences, and the department as a whole," Bedwell said. "Employers call every year and want to know who’s on the judging team who is graduating, because these students are leaders."
Bedwell thanked CSU alumni and supporters, who often host the Livestock Judging Team for skills practice at ranches around the state and region.
The members of the 2012 CSU Livestock Judging team are: