Livestock Judging, Preparing Youth for the Future
Putnam County 4-H Livestock Judging Team
The youth on the Putnam County 4-H Livestock Judging Team work tirelessly every week to develop their knowledge and public speaking skills for oral reasons. With the leadership from their coach, Jerry Mullins, these youth travel to multiple states, cities, and towns to practice their skills at clinics, ranches, and contests.
Why Livestock Judging?
Livestock Evaluation is a science based art that requires student judges to evaluate animals based on traits for meat (market) and breeding. Student judges are then required to justify their placing of the animals with oral reasons. Evaluators must understand and use terminology specific to the species of animal they are judging. Livestock evaluators are able to:
- Compare logically
- Decide independently
- Solve problems rationally
- Think critically
- Communicate effectively
According to G.C. Smith (2001), “Compared with experts in medicine and law, livestock judges appear to have unusual abilities to make complex judgments…And, the training program used to develop livestock judges has a clear impact on skill and judgmental strategies.” One of the purposes in livestock evaluation is for those who intend to pursue employment in animal agriculture. It also has the purpose of applying knowledge to understand end-products.