How to Not Judge Livestock


We've all judged livestock at least once in our lives. Maybe you weren't on a team, but maybe you were just at a fair. You know those times you sit in the bleachers and decide which one is the best, and then wait for the actual judge to decide. Then if you were right you tell yourself, "Yeah, I could've judged this show." If your wrong you probably tell yourself, "That judge was so wrong." I'll never forget when I use to judge livestock in high school. We would practice by watching old videos of showing and give our reasons to our ag teacher. Livestock judging would break you from fearing public speaking. You had to go judge livestock and then go tell why you placed what where, to a person that knew all about the animal you were judging. You guys want to talk about nerves, that was scary.

Never fear though, whether you judge behind the fence in the arena or you actually judge livestock, here are a few pointers on how  NOT to judge livestock.

  • Don't try comparing livestock by how pretty they are. "Wow, this one has some cool markings. I chose this one!"
  • Don't try giving reasons by pretending you are a southern belle. "Oh my, that steer is a tall drink of tea on a hot summer's day."
  • Don't try talking to other people around you. "Hey, how did you place that class of Breeding Ewes."
  • When you give reasons to the judge, don't shut your eyes. "Why are my eyes shut, umm I like to visualize that class of pigs."
  • Don't start a casual conversation with the judge to try and get out of reasons. "Did you use to go to Jay? No. Oh well you remind me so much of Bill."
  • Don't wear a suit or dress to judge in. "Being a sharp dressed man will help me win this."
  • Don't wear a ton of jewelry when judging. "I'm wearing bling bling in the show ring!"
  • Don't stand awkwardly when giving reasons. "Sometimes standing with my hands on my head helps give me inspiration."
  • Don't play with the animals while judging. "Oh my gosh, you are the cutest sheep ever, yes you are!"

Last but not least, don't be scared to go out there and give it all you've got. Judging is meant to be fun, so don't get to caught up in winning to forget to actually enjoy the experience. Just don't do anything off this list, trust me your ag teacher would be so mad!


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