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Livestock Judging team

Front row, from left: William Kroneman, Colton Kroneman, Hannah Siek, Jillian Hanson, Olivia Hanson, Samantha Zahradnik and Andrew Pingenot. Back row – Jacob Ludeking, Clayton McKenna, Josh Wiley, Ellie Karr, Mia Brecht, Gabe Hanson, Alex Ludeking and Steiger Manson.

DES MOINES –The Benton County 4-H Livestock Judging team capped off an exciting season with an eventful finish at the 2019 State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest.

Fifteen Benton County 4-H members traveled to Ames, Iowa on August 24 for the contest on the campus of Iowa State University. When the day was over, the four local teams would prove their skill set and consistency with a host of outstanding results.

The Benton County Senior Division Team 1 of Gabe Hanson (La Porte City), Jacob Ludeking (Norway), Steiger Manson (Walker) and Josh Wiley (Walker) was named the champion team, with three members placing in the top 10 individually. Hanson was third individual overall; Ludeking was fourth; and Manson was sixth. Hanson also was recognized as top individual in oral reasons, fourth in beef and ninth in swine. Ludeking was first in beef, third in sheep and fifth in oral reasons. Manson was sixth in oral reasons and ninth in beef. In addition to winning the overall contest, the team was first place in beef, sheep and oral reasons, and fifth place in swine.

Benton County also was champion in the junior division, with a team of Olivia Hanson (La Porte City), William Kroneman (Luzerne), Colton Kroneman (Luzerne), and Andrew Pingenot (Vinton). William Kroneman was third overall individual with ninth-place showings in sheep and questions; and fifth-place scores in beef and swine. Colton Kroneman was second in the beef division; and Hanson placed third in the beef division. As a team, they also were first place in the beef and questions divisions.

Benton County Senior Team 2 was fifth place overall in the senior division, and fourth in beef and sheep. Team 2 was comprised of Mia Brecht (Belle Plaine), Ellie Karr (Newhall), Alex Ludeking (Norway) and Clayton McKenna (Mt Auburn). Individually, Karr was seventh in sheep; Ludeking was ninth in oral reasons and McKenna (Mt Auburn) was fourth individual in swine.

The Benton County Junior Team 2 of Jillian Hanson (La Porte City), Hannah Siek (Blairstown) and Samantha Zahradnik (Belle Plaine) placed third overall in the junior division, and was recognized as the third-place team in sheep judging. Siek was reserve champion individual overall, and also placed first in sheep; third in swine; and fourth in questions.

The senior team’s first-place finish earned them a spot in a national contest. Benton County will be competing in the livestock judging contest at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colo. In January 2020.

4-H livestock judging helps youth to develop life skills in the areas of decision making, critical thinking, oral reasoning, self-confidence and problem solving. The young people spent the day in Ames evaluating and sorting seven groups of livestock from best to worst. There were classes of market and breeding livestock in areas of beef, sheep and swine, along with a class of breeding doe goats. The teams and individuals also had classes of breeding heifers and breeding ewes, in which they selected the best four of eight to keep and sent four animals to the cull pen. Finally, at the day’s conclusion, junior competitors were asked to answer ten question each on a class of beef, sheep and swine respectively to test their knowledge and recall from the day. Senior competitors delivered three sets of individual oral reasons to defend their placings.

Benton County 4-H Livestock Judging operates under the oversight of Iowa State University Extension. All fourth through twelfth graders in the Benton County area are encouraged to participate.