August 25, 1999 | By: Mark Eclov

The process to choose Kentucky's 1999 National Livestock Judging team finally is complete. Eight senior division finalists were chosen from a pool of twelve, picked during the state contest held June 3 on the University of Kentucky campus. The final competition was held at the Kentucky State Fair on August 19.

The members of the 1999 National Gold team include Aaron Hartman, Shelby County; Britteni Kane, Harrison County; Bret Jackson, Bourbon County; and Ellie Fryman from Boone County.

The Silver team is comprised of Katie Ellis, Boyle County; Julie P' Pool, Trigg County; David Brown, Simpson County; and Tim Zoglmann from Daviess County.

The finalists went through a very demanding series of training sessions and competitions.

"Our teams are chosen from contestants coming out of the Senior division (ages 14 to 18) of our state livestock judging competition," said Monty Chappell , team advisor and Extension sheep production and livestock specialist in the UK College of Agriculture.

After that, they are required to spend a week on the UK campus studying for additional testing which is culminated by the test given at the Kentucky state fair.

"By the time they get to the fair they have judged 36 classes of live animals including sheep, beef and swine and have given 32 sets of oral reasons," noted Chappell. "They have to judge six additional classes and give three more sets of oral reasons at the state fair finals."

Chappell said the skills learned in livestock judging actually are valuable consumer skills that can be applied in many different circumstances outside the show ring.

"The young people learn to sort and prioritize different key characteristics of each animal," said Chappell. It is much like buying a car and then deciding what extras you can have according to the budget you are on."

It has been a long road to the top and now the real competition begins. The Gold team will compete in three contests including the Eastern National in Baltimore, Maryland; the Keystone Contest in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and the National Contest held in Louisville, Kentucky. The Silver team will travel to Blacksburg, Virginia for the Eastern United States contest.


Writer: Mark Eclov 606-257-7223

Source: Monty Chappell (606) 257-2716