4-H Livestock Judging Interest Meeting

— Written By Tom Devine and last updated by
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When: February 2nd at 6:00 p.m.

Where: McDowell County Extension Office Conference Room

Who: Youth ages 8 to 18

RSVP by January 31st

You may be asking yourself…What is livestock judging? Why should I attend this meeting and what are the benefits of this youth livestock program? 

First off, participation in this 4-H program not only gives youth the opportunity to learn about livestock production, but it also allows them to compete in knowledge based contests. Not to mention, develop valuable life skills.

To me, the most beneficial part of livestock judging is life skill development. No matter what goals a young person has in life, strong character, confidence and effective communication skills are crucial. With livestock judging, participants develop these skills by repeatedly making decisions, processing information in a short period of time and presenting information in a clear, concise way. All while conveying themselves in a confident manner. 

livestock judging awards

Now, what is livestock judging? Livestock judging is the evaluation of beef cattle, swine, sheep and meat goats as market or breeding animals to determine their value or quality level. We do this by comparing them to the ideal characteristics of their breed and for their intended purpose (market vs breeding). Some of the characteristics we look at include structural correctness of the animal, the amount of body volume an animal has and overall balance. Just to name a few. During a livestock judging contest and at practice, participants rank a class of four animals from best to worst. In addition to ranking animals, participants answer questions about the classes they viewed and present oral reasons explaining their rankings. 

Lastly, livestock judging is a lot of fun. Participants have the opportunity to develop life long friendships, travel all over the country and win plenty of awards along the way. 

Please RSVP by January 31st if you plan to attend the meeting. 

To RSVP or for more information about livestock judging and other youth livestock programs, contact our livestock agent Tom Devine at 828-652-8104 or tom_devine@ncsu.edu.  

Livestock Interest Meeting flyer