The University of Minnesota’s livestock judging team has wrapped up a busy, successful season and was rewarded for its efforts by placing in the top 10 at three national contests.
Team members and coaches traveled from Denver to Jackson, Miss., and back up to Louisville, Ky. This year, the team placed in the top 10 at three of the four national contests — an incredible feat, considering that the most competitive teams have members who have already judged all the contests once in junior college, according to coaches.
“I’m very proud of the 2018 team — not only for the numerous individual and team awards they received over the past year, but more importantly, for taking advantage of the opportunity to develop tremendous life skills as they traveled across the nation visiting the most elite livestock operations and competing at the highest level,” said Kyle Rozeboom, head coach. “These students put in nearly 25 hours a week and gave up their weekends to compete with the nation’s best, and I was overwhelmed by the motivation and devotion from every team member.”
The collegiate livestock judging season begins in January and lasts through the calendar year, concluding with the national contest held at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Ky. The team competes at numerous contests throughout the year, all in preparation for the four national contests held at the following national shows: National Western Stock Show, Denver; Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Houston; American Royal, Kansas City, Mo.; and NAILE, Louisville, Ky.
Coached by Kyle Rozeboom and Greg Harder, this year’s team members were Brady Bobendrier, Pipestone; Mason Currie, Hinckley; Jenni Fidler, Bloomer, Wis.; Alyssa Groskopf, Hastings; Daniel Hayes, Lafayette; Abby Penzenstadler, Chisago City; Nick Pitlick, Jordan; and Brooke Roberts, Whitelaw, Wis. All are from Minnesota except where noted.
Throughout the year, the team helps promote the livestock industry and U-M’s livestock judging program to young people with an interest in agriculture. The team hosts and officiates both the state 4-H and FFA livestock judging contests, and it plans and runs a three-day Minnesota 4-H livestock judging camp.
“There are no better ambassadors for the university than livestock judging team students,” Rozeboom added.
Here are the contest highlights:
North American International Livestock Exposition, Louisville, Ky.
14th team, overall
Brooke Roberts: All-American honoree
Brady Bobendrier: second, individual sheep and goats
Nick Pitlick: 10th, individual cattle
American Royal, Kansas City, Mo.
Eighth team, overall; fifth team, swine; sixth team, beef, 10th team, sheep and goats
Alyssa Groskopf: 11th individual, overall
Brooke Roberts: 11th individual, sheep and goats
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston
Sixth team, overall
Abby Penzenstadler: ninth, individual overall; fourth, cattle; fifth, placings
Brady Bobendrier: second, individual sheep and goats; seventh, placings
Brooke Roberts: sixth, individual swine
National Western Stock Show, Denver
Seventh team, overall; fourth team, swine; fifth team, sheep and goats
Brady Bobendrier: high individual, swine; eighth, overall individual; ninth, reasons
Alyssa Groskopf: fifth overall, carload contest
Dixie Nationals, Jackson, Miss.
Fourth team, overall; fourth team, reasons
Brooke Roberts: second individual, Brahman-influenced breeds
Jenni Fidler: seventh individual, continental breeds
Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic, Kearney, Neb.
Third team, overall; third team, reasons
Brooke Roberts: third individual, overall; fourth, reasons; fourth, placings
Brady Bobendrier: eighth, individual overall; fifth, placings
Source: University of Minnesota