Eight senior teams and 14 junior teams participated in this year’s Wisconsin State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, held July 23 at the Stock Pavilion at UW-Madison. The annual venue gives 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 this fall.
The contest consisted of evaluating classes of market and breeding beef, market and breeding swine, market and breeding sheep and market goats, as well as answering questions and delivering sets of oral reasons. Teams qualified for the state contest by being top teams at the district Area Animal Science Days held around the state in June. The top two teams in the senior division will represent Wisconsin at a national judging contest this fall.
A team from Marathon County took top honors in the senior division. Team members were Kailen Smerchek, Malorie Schmoll, Stephanie Witberger and Hunter Falkowski. Marathon County is coached by Dan Smerchek and Ty Bayer. The second-place senior team was Iowa County. Team members include Morgan Vondra, Brady Palzkill, and Brandon Springer. They are coached by Jeff Thomas, Mike Robinson and Matt Heins. Third place went to Sheboygan County. Team members were Caden Nicolaus, Anna Kitzerow, Alisha Klemme and Isaac Kohlman. They are coached by Chad Kohlman. Fourth place went to Jefferson County, with team members Alexis Schultz, Colton Klecker, Danielle Chwala and Trevor Messmer. Jefferson is coached by Ed Bielinski. Fifth place was awarded to Pierce County. Team members are Jacob Boatman, Isabelle Hudson and Lindsey Augustine. Pierce is coached by Caleb Dressen and Megan Geraets.
The top 10 senior individual judges were, in order of placing, Kailen Smerchek, Marathon; Morgan Vondra, Iowa; Caden Nicolaus, Sheboygan; Anna Kitzerow, Sheboygan; Hannah Tremaine, Waukesha; Alexis Schultz, Jefferson; Malorie Schmoll, Marathon; Blake Johnson, Trempealeau; Stephanie Witberler, Marathon; and Kendra Jentz, Grant.
The top reasons team was Marathon County. The top five five reasons individuals were, in order of placing, Kailen Smerchek, Marathon; Morgan Vondra, Iowa County; Anna Kitzerow, Sheboygan; Hannah Tremaine, Waukesha; and Malorie Schmoll, Marathon. Marathon County was the top team for all species — beef, sheep/goats and swine.
The top junior team was from Grant County. Team members were Luke Patterson, Jessica Patterson, Avery Crooks and Brendan Jentz. They are coached by Dennis Patterson. The second-place junior team was Iowa County. Team members include Joey Robinson, Emma Steffes, Annie Robinson and Ryan Schubert. They are coached by Jeff Thomas and Mike Robinson. Third place went to Columbia County and team members Samantha Rake, Summer Rake, Ryli Theis and Macy Cross. The team is coached by Cara Cross/Todd Taylor. Fourth place was awarded to Jackson County and team members Trent Laufenberg, Luke Fischer, Grace Kling and Austin Laufenberg. Their coach is Jessie Oberlin. Fifth place went to Sheboygan County, with teammates Ethan Kohlman, Brayden Peter, Cora Kolhman and Alison Gartman. Coaches are Chad Kohlman and Liz Gartman.
The top 10 junior individual judges, in order of placing, were Luke Patterson, Grant; Jessica Patterson, Grant; Joey Robinson, Iowa; Cora Capatske, Pierce County; Emily Zukowski, Dunn; Trent Laufenberg, Jackson; Samantha Rake, Columbia; Madelyn Thornton, Grant; Emma Steffes, Iowa; and Summer Rake, Columbia County.
Grant County was the top beef team, while honors for the top swine team went to Iowa County and the top sheep/goat team was Columbia County. The top reasons individual for juniors was Jessica Patterson, Grant County, and the top reasons team for the junior division was Grant County.
Sponsors for the State 4-H Livestock contest include the Milwaukee Stockyards, Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, Andis Foundation, Buell Gunderson Memorial, Equity Livestock Coop, Country Fresh Meats, Kwik Trip, UW-Extension and UW Animal Science Departments.