Wisconsin’s state 4-H livestock judging contest was held July 23 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Stock Pavilion. This annual event allows the top junior and senior county 4-H livestock judging teams the opportunity to apply their skills in evaluating beef, swine, sheep and meat goat classes in hopes of qualifying for a national livestock judging event.
Eight senior teams and 14 junior teams participated in the 2018 contest, which consisted of evaluating classes of market and breeding beef, market and breeding swine, market and breeding sheep, and market goats, as well as answer questions and delivering sets of oral reasons. These teams qualified for the state contest by being top teams at the district Area Animal Science Days that were held around the state in June.
Senior division results
The top two teams in the senior division will go on to represent Wisconsin at a national contest this fall. A team from Marathon County took top honors in the senior division. Team members are Kailen Smerchek, Malorie Schmoll, Stephanie Witberger and Hunter Falkowski. Their coaches are Dan Smerchek and Ty Bayer. The second-place senior team was Iowa County. Team members are Morgan Vondra, Brady Palzkill and Brandon Springer. Their coaches are Jeff Thomas, Mike Robinson and Matt Heins.
Third place went to a team from Sheboygan County. Team members are Caden Nicolaus, Anna Kitzerow, Alisha Klemme and Isaac Kohlman. They are coached by Chad Kohlman. Fourth place went to Jefferson County. Team members are Alexis Schultz, Colton Klecker, Danielle Chwala and Trevor Messmer. Ed Bielinski is the coach. Fifth place went to Pierce County. Team members are Jacob Boatman, Isabelle Hudson and Lindsey Augustine. Their coaches are Caleb Dressen and Megan Geraets.
The top 10 senior individual judges were:
1. Kailen Smerchek, Marathon County
2. Morgan Vondra, Iowa County
3. Caden Nicolaus, Sheboygan County
4. Anna Kitzerow, Sheboygan County
5. Hannah Tremaine, Waukesha County
6. Alexis Schultz, Jefferson County
7. Malorie Schmoll County
8. Blake Johnson, Trempealeau County
9. Stephanie Witberler, Marathon County
10. Kendra Jentz, Grant County
The top reasons team was Marathon County. The top five reasons individuals were Kailen Smerchek, Marathon County; Morgan Vondra, Iowa County; Anna Kitzerow, Sheboygan County; Hannah Tremaine, Waukesha County; and Malorie Schmoll, Marathon County. Marathon County was also the top beef, sheep/goat and swine team.
Junior division results
The top junior team was from Grant County. Team members are Luke Patterson, Jessica Patterson, Avery Crooks and Brendan Jentz. Their coach is Dennis Patterson. The second-place junior team was Iowa County. Team members are Joey Robinson, Emma Steffes, Annie Robinson and Ryan Schubert. They are coached by Jeff Thomas and Mike Robinson.
JUNIOR WINNERS: Grant County was the first-place junior team. Team members are Brendan Jentz (left), Luke Patterson, Jessica Patterson and Avery Crooks.
Third place went to Columbia County. Team members are Samantha Rake, Summer Rake, Ryli Theis and Macy Cross. Their coaches are Cara Cross and Todd Taylor. The fourth-place team was Jackson County. Team members are Trent Laufenberg, Luke Fischer, Grace Kling and Austin Laufenberg. The team is coached by Jessie Oberlin. The fifth-place team was Sheboygan County. Team members are Ethan Kohlman, Brayden Peter, Cora Kolhman and Alison Gartman. Their coaches are Chad Kohlman and Liz Gartman.
The top 10 junior individual judges were:
1. Luke Patterson, Grant County
2. Jessica Patterson, Grant County
3. Joey Robinson, Iowa County
4. Cora Capatske, Pierce County
5. Emily Zukowski, Dunn County
6. Trent Laufenberg, Jackson County
7. Samantha Rake, Columbia County
8. Madelyn Thornton, Grant County
9. Emma Steffes, Iowa County
10. Summer Rake, Columbia County
The top reasons team for the junior division was Grant County. The top reasons individual was Jessica Patterson, Grant County. The top beef team was Grant County; top swine team, Iowa County; and top sheep/goat team, Columbia County.
Sponsors for the state 4-H livestock contest include: The Milwaukee Stockyards, Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, Andis Foundation, Buell Gunderson Memorial, Equity Livestock Co-op, Country Fresh Meats, Kwik Trip, UW-Extension and UW-Madison Animal Science Department. Bernie O’Rourke, Extension youth livestock specialist; Alissa Grenawalt, outreach specialist; and Alexa Roscizewski, with 4-H youth development; organized the contest.