Schmidt, J. L.1; Heitstuman, M.D.2
1County Director and 4-H Youth Educator, Washington State University Extension, COLFAX, WA, 99111
2County Director and Extension Educator, Washington State University Extension Asotin & Garfield Counties, Asotin, WA, 99402, no state given,  


With an aging demographic of current livestock judges in the Pacific Northwest, and an increasing number of 4-H and FFA youth showing meat goats, there is a need for trained individuals to evaluate livestock projects at our county fairs and junior livestock shows.  In addition, youth livestock shows, and sales committee frequently experience conflict that could be avoided or minimized if show management had a broader understanding of current issues affecting the livestock industry.  Considering these factors, the planning committee offered two separate tracks at the 2019 PNW Judges School and Show Management Conference.

 Since it is expensive and complex to offer a multi-species judging school, the committee focused on organizing a high-quality sheep and goat judges’ school; with plans to offer a WSU/UI beef and swine judging school in the future.  The Judges track focused on evaluating sheep and goat market projects both live and on the rail.  Participants also had the opportunity to judge several classes of breeding sheep and goats; evaluate fitting and showing classes; discuss the management of the show ring; practice giving oral reasons; learn about the role of the judge as an educator; and a packer’s expectation of youth livestock projects.

The Show Management track focused on financial management and accounting for market livestock sales committees; biosecurity; livestock handling procedures; youth quality assurance programs; selecting and hiring qualified judges; fair management software; emergency management and show ring procedures.

At the conclusion of the program, participants completed a Qualtrics survey to provide feedback on the judges’ school and show management conference.  Seventy-five percent of the judge’s school survey respondents stated that the school contributed significantly to their knowledge of youth livestock shows in contrast to sixty-seven percent of the show management respondents who said the same.  Ninety percent rated the judges’ school as good or excellent while one hundred percent of show management respondents rated the quality of the conference as excellent or good. One hundred percent of both groups indicated they would like to attend a future PNW Livestock Judges School or Show Management Conference.

All Accepted Posters