The Mason County 4-H Livestock Judging Team competed in the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest at the North American Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, on November 13, 2012. Thirty-three state teams consisting of 4 members each competed for top team honors. The Mason County team consisting of Chama Martin (Senior), Gabe Jennings (Senior), Price Ruffin (Junior), and Sierra Martin (Sophomore) represented Mason County and the state of Texas well by securing the Reserve National Championship Title.
The team was high overall in sheep, with Gabe, Chama, and Price placing 5th, 7th, & 8th respectively. The sheep division consisted of three sheep classes and one goat class. They presented oral reasons on a Columbia ewe class and answered questions on the market lamb class.
In the swine division, the team placed 4th overall and Gabe was the 5th high individual. The contestants evaluated three classes of hogs giving oral reasons on market hogs and answering questions on the Duroc gilt class.
Price was the 7th high individual in beef, and the team placed 6th overall. Four classes of cattle were judged. Oral reasons were given on the Lim-Flex heifers and market steers.
The team also placed 6th in oral reasons. Making the All American Team were Price, 4th high individual overall, Gabe, 6th high individual overall, and Chama, 8th high individual overall.
Because of their achievement, the team was issued an invitation to attend the International Livestock Judging Tour hosted by the Scottish Young Farmers during the Royal Highlands Show in Edinburg, Scotland. The team will be working toward that event, which will take place next June.
Achieving the honor of being Reserve National Champions would not have been possible without the help of those who have helped coach during Chama, Gabe, Price, and Sierra’s judging career. Those assisting in their training have included Gary Jennings, Troy Ruffin, Tyler Bobinmyer, Brent Drennan, and Glen Martin. Additionally, many local ranchers have contributed to their practices by allowing them to evaluate livestock.
A special recognition is due to those who contributed financially to the team’s trip to the NAILE in Louisville. Those donors included the Commercial Bank, Ryan and Kayelynne Jordan, Andy & Brooke Rosberg, Hill Country Vet Services, Worrell Enterprises, Fredonia Peanut Company, Willard & Peggy Jordan, Jordan Livestock Auction, Burt Nesloney, Chuck Bearden, Bernice Jenschke, Hill Country Cattle Women, Gary & Carole Zesch, Seth & Kathryn Martin, Jeff & Dorothy Grote, Chase & Angela Smith, Texas Pork Producers, Billy Kothman, Billy James, Bruce Hawkins, Perry Bushong, Ricky McBryde, James Wallace, Texas 4-H Youth Development, and the D-7 Volunteer 4-H Leaders Association.