The Arizona National Livestock Show proudly hosts the first national Collegiate Livestock Judging competition of the year, in addition to a Junior Judging Contest for youth in 4-H and FFA. Chaired by Dr. Clint Rusk, Oklahoma State University Animal Science Department Head, the judging event utilizes the best animals from across the country.

Collegiate teams from across the US will test their livestock evaluation skills in Phoenix on December 31. Individuals will judge and place 12 classes, containing four animals per class, of swine, meat goats, sheep and cattle. Contestants must then verbally explain their placings to officials. Competitors are scored individually and on a team basis.

Competing the same day, 4-H and FFA teams judge eight classes of cattle, sheep and swine.  The Junior Livestock Judging Contest is a qualifying competition for the State 4-H Competition, where the winning team will represent Arizona at the national contest.

The Arizona National Livestock Show also offers a unique educational opportunity in conjunction with the livestock judging contests: workout sessions for individual or team contestants entered in the judging contests. The workouts provide contestants a chance to practice judging classes of breeding and market cattle, swine, sheep and goats. There are no official judges or placings for the classes assembled for the pre-contest workout. The sessions include two hours of classes for each species.

Junior Livestock Judging

The Junior Livestock Judging Contest for 4-H and FFA Teams occurs the same day as the Collegiate Classic. The contest format includes eight classes of cattle, sheep and swine with each class containing four animals. The contestants are scored individually and on a team basis.

The Junior Livestock Judging Contest Awards are held the same day of the event in the Coliseum North Hall.

Entry Deadline: December 10

Collegiate Livestock Judging Classic


The Classic sees fierce competition from teams representing universities and colleges across the country with full time agriculture departments. The Judging Classic includes twelve classes containing four animals per class of swine, sheep and cattle. The contestants are then required to verbally explain their placings with reasons to officials. Contestants are scored individually and on a team basis.

A Collegiate Freshman Division is provided to allow participants from college students who are not members of a junior or senior college team and youth participants who are not eligible to participate in the Junior (4-H / FFA) Livestock Judging Contest. Participants must either be currently enrolled in college, a member of 4-H, a member of FFA or a member of a National Junior Breed Association. 4-H, FFA and Junior Breed Association members must be less than 22 years old on the day of the contest.

The Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest Awards are presented at an evening banquet following the event.

Entry Deadline: December 10