Five members of the Fort Hays State University livestock judging team traveled to Denver, CO, to compete in the 97th Denver National Western Stock Show on Jan. 17 and 18, and, after bringing home a win in the Carload Beef competition, proved that FHSU livestock judging is back from the dead.
"It's awesome," Coach Kolby Burch said. "I didn't anticipate it, but I'll darn sure take it."
During the nine-day trip, the team traveled from Lincoln, NE, to Casper, WY, making various stops along the way for practice before the competition in Colorado.
In Denver, the team judged 12 livestock classes and gave eight sets of oral reasons on Friday. On Saturday, the team competed in the Carload Beef contest, judging six classes of cattle.
The FHSU team won the senior college Carload Beef competition, with a total score of 1,460 points out of a possible 1,500. Bo Ringer, Concordia junior, was in a three-way tie for first-place high individual. Brandon Gibson, Hiawatha senior, was fifth high individual.
"I thought the team did extremely well," Burch said. "They couldn't have done better."
Dr. John Greathouse, chair of the Department of Agriculture, was also proud of the team's performance.
"The team represented FHSU well and gave the university a very important degree of recognition in the livestock judging community," he said.
The livestock judging program began at FHSU in 1973 and had a history of success before being eliminated in the late 1990s. The current team is the first team FHSU has had in six years.
Students who participated in the competition are listed below by hometown.
CONCORDIA: Bo Ringer, junior.
HIAWATHA: Brandon Gibson, senior.
LARNED: Levi Mitzner, sophomore.
PENOKEE: Tressie Bryant, sophomore.
RANSOM: Jerod Horchem, sophomore.