February 02, 2010

Livestock judging team off to a solid start

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s reconstituted livestock judging team competed at its first event Jan. 15-16, placing 10th out of 27 in one of two contests, with one of its members also taking the top spot in individual judging in that contest.

“It was neat to have that kind of start on our maiden voyage,” said S. Ryan Orrick, who has been coaching the group since the start of the academic year.

The competition took place during the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo., an event held annually since 1906. The team scored its 10th-place finish in the carload-judging contest, an element unique to Denver. Teams rank groups of four beef cattle, swine, sheep or goats from best to worst rather than ranking individual animals.

“We placed the classes very well, though we need to improve on our explanation of the rankings to be more successful overall,” Orrick said.

Ryan D. Kinney, a junior in animal science from Fairfield, won top overall in the carload-judging event.

“That was a special honor,” Orrick said. “It was the highlight of the trip.”

The team will compete next Feb. 13 at the Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Show in Jackson, Miss.

In addition to Kinney, team members (by hometown) are:

Alma: Lauren E. Evans, a junior majoring in agribusiness economics;

Ellery: Derek Moore, a senior majoring in agribusiness economics;

Goreville: Karra B. Kirby, a senior majoring in animal science;

Hutsonville: Donna L. Drebes, a senior majoring in agribusiness economics;

Marion: David A. Strathman, a junior majoring in animal science.