Livestock Judging

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. This contest utilizes the best animals from across the country.

Our Livestock Judging Competition is an educational and competitive event that assesses participants’ ability to evaluate and rank livestock based on specific criteria. These competitions are valuable for students and enthusiasts interested in livestock production and agriculture. Livestock judging competitions often focus on various species, including cattle, sheep, swine, and goats.

Participants evaluate animals based on specific criteria, which include conformation, muscle definition, structural soundness, and breed standards. The animals are compared and ranked based on quality and fitness for a particular purpose, such as meat production or breeding. After evaluating the classes, participants will provide oral reasons for their rankings. This involves explaining their decisions and defending their choices to judges. Participants’ accuracy in assessing the animals and their ability to provide well-reasoned justifications play a significant role in determining their scores.

Livestock judging competitions provide participants with valuable hands-on experience in evaluating livestock, which is essential for careers in agriculture, animal science, and related fields. Participants gain a deeper understanding of animal husbandry and breeding principles.

Collegiate Livestock Judging

Collegiate teams from across the US will test their livestock evaluation skills at the first collegiate judging contest of the year. Individuals will judge and place multiple classes, containing four animals per class, of cattle, swine, sheep, and meat goats. Contestants must then verbally explain their placings to officials. Competitors are scored individually and on a team basis.

Workout sessions for contestants entered in the judging contests are also available. 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.

Junior Livestock Judging

The Junior Livestock Judging Contest for junior age contestants (4-H and FFA Teams) are also held during the Arizona National Livestock Show. Contestants will judge classes of cattle, swine, sheep, and goats will be judged and be given the opportunity to present oral reasons.

This is considered a recruiting contest where livestock judging coaches from junior colleges officiate and take reasons giving contestants and coaches an opportunity to network and recruit.

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Arizona State Fair Livestock Judging Contest Results 10.14.23