The 2005 Fort Hays State University livestock judging team kicked off it's season last week at the Express Ranches Cattle Judging Contest in Yukon, OK.
" The new team isn't quite as advanced as last year's team was at this point, but they still managed to hold their own," said Kolby Birch, livestock judging coach.
Individually, Cody Bobinmyer, Culbertson, NE, junior, took first in oral reasons and was ninth overall as an individual.
As a team, the tigers finished sixth in an 18-team field. Other team members who competed were Codi Watson, Lincoln junior; Lance Manker, Indianola, NE, junior; Sean Gleason, Holdrege, NE, junior; and Andrea Zillinger, Phillipsburg junior.
The team leaves Hays on Dec. 28 to compete at the Arizona National Stock Show in Phoenix.
Recently the 2004 livestock judging team members met to discuss the results of their season and their plans for the future. They are not participating in the 2005 livestock judging season because they are either graduating or have used up their eligibility.
Kiley McKinna, Redvers, Saskatechewan, Canada, junior, said he got involved with livestock at an early age.
" I've always been involved with livestock judging. I was recruited right out of high school by the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, and then Kolby recruited me to come to FHSU," said McKinna.
Teammate Evan Cooper, Burdett senior, also got involved in his younger years.
" I grew up with livestock and I thought livestock judging would help me later raise some quality cattle," said Cooper.
For Ashley Stull, Natoma senior, livestock judging was a completely new experience.
" I had never judged before this year. I had to learn how to give reasons during competition," said Stull.
Judging livestock wasn't the only problem that confronted team members.
" We took a trip to a ranch near College Station, TX. It was like an animal safari and we saw animals we had never seen before," said Cooper.
" At one point we came to a small creek, but there was no bridge. We all got out to see how deep the creek was, but decided not to chance getting the school van stuck."
Wolfe and Stull graduate from FHSU this month and plan to attend Iowa State University -- Wolfe for an advanced animal science degree and Stull for an advanced agricultural education degree.
Kelsey Kennedy, Myrtle Point, OR, senior, plans to pursue a career in public relations. Cooper will enter banking, and McKinna said he plans on earning an advanced degree.