by: PAMELA GANDY/Entertainment Editor
The South Plains College Livestock Judging Team recently won a reserve champion national title after months of hard work, practice, and dedication.
The 2015 American Royal in Kansas City, Mo., held its annual intercollegiate junior college livestock evaluation contest on Oct. 30. More than 20 teams from colleges around the country competed, hoping to prove their skills.
Members of the SPC team include: Cameron Anderson, Preston Lawrence, Mason Weadock, Walker Eskew and Brittni Allerkamp. Also competing was Quay Owen, Clancey Gruben, Colton Foster and Quinton Whitfield.
Weadock placed third in the cattle judging portion of the contest, sixth in swine judging and 10th in reasons. Overall, he placed fifth individually.
Eskew placed first in sheep and goat judging, 13th in swine judging, and eighth place in oral reasons. In the overall individual category, Eskew finished in 16th place.
Lawrence placed second in swine judging, 16th in cattle, and 13th in oral reasons. In the individual rankings, Lawrence finished seventh overall. Also, Cameron Anderson placed sixth in beef judging.
The team placed third overall in cattle judging, fourth in swine judging, and sixth in sheep judging. Their combined reasons scores led them to reserve high team in oral reasons. All of their scores from each of the categories added together gave them the title of reserve champion in the junior college livestock judging contest.
The team members have spent hours practicing for this contest, polishing their evaluation skills and oral reasons.
“There’s a lot of manpower and time that goes on behind the scenes,” said Connor Newsom, coach of the SPC Livestock Judging Team. “Preparation for this contest actually started back in the summer, a few weeks before school started. They easily spend 40 hours a week or more working and practicing. That includes Saturdays and Sundays. They go to various farms and ranches in the area to look at animals, and they spend a lot of time in the classroom working on and perfecting their oral presentation.”
The team is very excited and honored to have done so well at such a large contest with so many teams competing.
“To be a reserve champion team at a contest like The American Royal is very prestigious,” said Newsom. “It’s one of the major events in our industry, and to have a team that can be that competitive is an incredible recruiting benefit for the college. It will eventually bring students to the college.”
The team is still practicing for other contests. They recently competed at the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, Ky. They will also travel to other contests during the spring semester.
“We’re excited, but we’ve still got work to do,” said Newsom. “We’ve got a lot more contests coming up. We’re still hungry. There are high hopes for this team, and we hope that’s just the beginning.”