National Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest winners announced

Farm Forum

Denver, Colo. – Some 40 young people competed Jan. 23, for $1,750 in individual scholarships and team trophies at the National Bison Association’s (NBA) Fifth Annual Junior Judging Contest. Taking top honors and a $1,000 scholarship with an overall score of 228, was William JP Wood, Laramie, Wyo. The top placing team was one of three entered from Weld Central FFA, Keenesburg, Colo., and included Austin Massey, Jess Nighswonger, Hunter Bellm, and Aleani Dell. The team is coached by Weld Central FFA Advisor Willard Kendall.

Shelly Chambers, Limon, Colo., earning 224 points, was second individual, and recipient of a $500 scholarship. She is coached by Limon FFA Advisor Cody Weber. Third-place individual was Austin Massey, Ft. Lupton Colo., who accumulated 222 points and a $250 scholarship. Massey also was a member of the first-place team and is coached by Kendall. The second place team was also from Weld Central FFA, Keenesburg, Colo., and included Sarah Marvin, Michaela Dineen and Taylor Horton. The third-place team was from Brush FFA, Brush, Colo., and consisted of Emma Mortensen, Allyson Pabst and Shelby Wolever. The second place team is coached by Kendall and the third place team by Brush FFA Advisor KayDe Naylon.

The contest was held at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Denver, Colo., in conjunction with the NBA’s 2013 Gold Trophy Show & Sale. Contestants judged four classes: market bulls, yearling heifers, two-year-old bulls, and bull calves, and gave reasons on the market bull class. Each animal class and the reasons class had a total possible point value of 50, making 250 total points a perfect score.

“The judging ability and quality of reasons continues to develop as this national contest grows,” said Dave Carter, NBA executive director. “The growing interest also is a reflection of the increased attention by producers, especially young producers, in raising bison as a career.”

The NBA’s Junior Judging program is based on criteria used in 4-H and FFA livestock judging contests. The bison judging program was started by NBA member and Stratford, Okla., veterinarian Dr. Gerald Parsons, who proposed taking the contest to the national level after success with bison judging contests within the state of Oklahoma. He is the administrator of the NBA’s National Jr. Judging Contest.

“The level of interest and the quality of junior judges in this contest bodes well for the continued growth of the U.S. bison industry,” Parsons said. “We are glad to see young people interested in this business and learning about bison.”

The NBA offers a junior membership, which provides young people 21 and younger with the same benefits as it producer members but for a discounted amount of $50 annually.