The Department of Animal Science has a rich heritage of successful judging teams. Many former team members who have gone on to obtain leadership roles in the industry as alumni strongly support the judging team experience. Participation on a judging team enhances a student’s ability to think, reason and make decisions, and to communicate with others. These skills are in great demand regardless of the career choice.
Students enrolled in dairy, horse, livestock, meats or welfare judging have the opportunity to travel and visit farms across the US. They can meet and talk to the owners and managers of some of the most successful operations in the world. These contacts help students better understand current management and marketing strategies as well as assist students in making and securing career choices.
Judging is more than visiting farms and taking a class. It is competing against schools all across the U.S. in contests held in conjunction with the major industry events. Some of these are: World Dairy Exposition, Madison, WI; North American Livestock Exposition, Louisville, KY; Quarter Horse Congress, Columbus, OH; and Arabian Nationals, Albuquerque, NM.
Students may earn a maximum of 8 credits from ANS 200A Sec 001, ANS 200A Sec 002, ANS 200E, ANS 200F, ANS 300A Sec 001, ANS 300A Sec 002, ANS 300B, ANS 300C, ANS 300D, ANS 300E, ANS 300F. Many of these courses have a re-enrollment provision so that a student might be able to compete on one or two intercollegiate judging teams.
Coach - Dr. Joe Domecq
Dairy Judging Team website - Michigan Dairy Cattle Judging: Past, Present, and Future
Coach – Ms. Taylor Fabus
Facebook: MSU Horse Judging
Coach: Mr. Chastin Leggett
The livestock judging team is open to all undergraduate students but is commonly comprised of students with a strong interest in animal agriculture and its related industries. Interested students are strongly encouraged to enroll in ANS 211 (Animal and Product Evaluation) the fall semester of their junior year, along with ANS 200A (Introductory Judging of Livestock or Carcasses) during the spring semester in order to compete in the All East Livestock Judging Contest. In the fall of their senior year, students enroll in ANS 300A (Advanced Livestock Judging) and participate in regional and national competitions throughout the year including, but not limited to, the National Barrow Show (Austin, MN), the American Royal (Kansas City, MO), and the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (Louisville, KY).
Not only do team members learn to evaluate livestock and make sound selection decisions utilizing both phenotypic and genetic measures, but they also gain confidence in their ability to make quick decisions. In addition, they learn to effectively communicate the underlying principles and reasoning associated with the decisions they make. Just as importantly, livestock judging provides an opportunity for students to network with the industry as they visit with producers at the farm or ranch about livestock and production practices. It provides an opportunity to learn from those directly involved with the industry regarding the principles and variability of livestock production and management throughout the United States. Simply put, livestock judging gives students the confidence and skills that are necessary to make them more marketable upon graduation. No other activity can parallel judging in terms of professional and self enhancement.
Advantages of participating in the Livestock Judging Program:
Coach – Ms. Sara Bronkema
The contact persons for the Agricultural Technology Judging Teams are:
Dairy: Dr. Joe Domecq
Horse: Dr. Sarah Ison
Livestock: Mr. Chastin Leggett