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State 4-H livestock judging qualifier changing location

Cows standing in a grassy pasture.

MOSES LAKE, Wash. – Washington State 4-H’s state 4-H livestock judging contest is on the move. The contest will be at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Washington on Saturday, June 25. 

“The Grant County fairgrounds offers easy access in a central location close to quality livestock,” said Paul Kuber, Washington State University’s 4-H state agricultural science specialist and contest chair.

The Washington state fairgrounds in Puyallup hosted the event in the past.

The animals will be judged on quality and comparison of ideal standards, while the 4-H members display teamwork and leadership skills.

“Livestock judging is an opportunity for youth to showcase their ability to evaluate livestock, while learning to think critically and communicate effectively,” Kuber said. “Plus, these tools are paramount to building an understanding of animal agriculture.”

WSU Extension hopes to elevate the exposure of 4-H livestock judging teams on the national stage. The 4-H program is transitioning the qualifier location and date to allow more participation and travel options for 4-H contestants. The event has historically been held in September.

The Grant County Fairgrounds donated the use of their grounds, including facilities and staff support, and will provide more accessibility, opportunity, and long-term success for the 4-H livestock judging teams, Kuber said.

This modification will help encourage better statewide participation, and provide new sponsorship opportunities including support from Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc., Skagit Farmers Supply Cooperative, Washington Cattle Feeders Association, and more.

Kuber, extension professionals, and others planned volunteer roles, meals, awards, arrangements for contest judges, and logistics for the event.

The state contest is broken up into three different age groups, and awards are given on individual scores, as well as team rankings. The Junior (ages 8-10), Intermediate (ages 11-13), and Senior (ages 14-19) divisions are each responsible for judging swine, sheep, and beef and giving a set of oral reasons.

The 4-H Livestock Judging Project allows youth the opportunity to learn about animal selection based on standards for breed type, production characteristics, confirmation and structure that lead to careers in raising, marketing, managing livestock careers. Youth also learn principles of animal science and gain beneficial life skills, such as decision making, increased self-confidence, self-discipline, teamwork, organization, and communication skills.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Grant County Fairgrounds immediately following the contest.

More information on contest rules and schedule, plus national team travel donation opportunities and guidelines can be found on the contest website.

The WSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program offers an educational curriculum that focuses on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills for real life. For more information about additional 4-H programs, or to donate, visit the Washington State 4-H website.

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