Eastern judging teams place at Arizona National Livestock Show
WILBURTON, OK (Jan. 10, 2018) – Eastern Oklahoma State College’s livestock judging teams recently won top honors at the 2017 Arizona National Livestock Show.
Led by Animal Science Instructor Jade Jenkins, Eastern’s freshman and sophomore teams both collected numerous individual and team awards in the Collegiate Livestock Judging Classic. The competition consisted of swine, sheep and cattle with participants required to verbally defend their placings with reasons to officials.
“I am so proud of each and every one of these students as well as the other team members who weren't able to attend,” Jenkins said. “Many of these students work on their judging skills daily, including over breaks. I am very blessed with the opportunity to travel around the country with them and share in their success.”
The freshman team participated in the Collegiate Freshman Division and was named High Overall Team after winning First High Overall Swine Team, First High Overall Cattle Team, Second High Overall Sheep Team and Second High Overall Team in Reasons. Team members who earned individual honors include Abby Taylor of Wickes, Ark., High Overall Individual; Braydyn Willyard of Pryor, Okla., Second High Individual; Garrett Dodd of Calhoon, Ga., Third High Individual; Jessika Calhoon of Farmington, Ark., Sixth High Individual and Rhett Pursley of Locust Grove, Okla., Ninth High Individual.
The sophomore team was named Second High Overall Team after winning Second High Overall Cattle Team, Second High Overall Swine Team, Second High Overall Team in Reasons and Fifth High Overall Sheep Team. Team members Kash Allen and Jarrod Halphen also won individual honors. Allen, of Bunch, Okla., was named High Overall Individual and Halphen, of Tuttle, Okla., was named Third High Individual.
Jenkins said this feat is about more than just judging animals.
“My students are making critical decisions in a limited amount of time, then defending those reasons to a panel of judges,” Jenkins said. “The communication skills needed to effectively convey this information will benefit them for life.”
Since 1948, exhibitors and judges have traveled from across the country to Phoenix to participate in the Arizona National. In addition to preserving the state’s western heritage, organizers also prioritize supporting students’ education. The show annually awards $40,000 in scholarships to youth pursuing a degree in agriculture.
Members of Eastern’s Livestock Judging Teams include (front row, left to right) Braydyn Willyard, Pryor, Okla.; Abby Taylor, Wickes, Ark.; Jessika Calhoon, Farmington, Ark.; Codi Lamb, Seguin, Texas; Rhett Pursley, Locust Grove, Okla.; (back row) Coach Jade Jenkins, Tanner Keiss, Smithville, Okla.; Chyanne Fogg, Springdale, Ark.; Grayson Heath, Aurora, Mo.; Tierra Christian, Ada, Okla.; Garrett Dodd, Calhoon, Ga.; Jarrod Halphen, Tuttle, Okla.; and Kash Allen, Bunch, Okla.