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Blinn hosts inaugural Livestock Judging Camp

Some participants traveled more than 1,500 miles to learn from the nation’s best

Livestock Judging Camp

August 7, 2014

Teens from as far as Oregon, Indiana and Illinois didn’t let distance to stop them from learning from some of the nation’s leaders in agriculture.

Blinn College’s Division of Agricultural Sciences recently hosted its inaugural Livestock Judging Camp, offering participants ages 8-17 an opportunity to gain hands-on livestock judging training from the College’s nationally recognized livestock judging team.

More than 100 participants learned to evaluate live animals, including cattle, sheep, hogs and goats through presentations and hands-on activities. On the final day of camp, students participated in a mock judging contest where they were asked to rank various animals and list reasons for ranking the animals as they did. Awards were given to the top student judges.

 Livestock Judging Camp“We look at the camp as a benefit to the community,” said Joe Rathmann, livestock judging coordinator. “We can fine-tune the skills they already have and help them get their foot in the door with a little more experience.”

In the past year, the freshman team has captured top honors at its first two competitions of the year, the Tulsa State Fair and the State Fair of Texas, while the sophomore team took top honors at Denver and Fort Worth. The team has won national competitions in seven of the last eight years.

“We wanted to offer this camp because our livestock judging team has been so successful,” said Bryn Behnke, assistant dean of Agricultural Sciences. “We were hoping to have at least 30 or 40 participants and we had 110. We were very pleased with the turnout and we give all the credit to the students and past teams who have made Blinn College a recognizable judging program across the nation.”

Proceeds from the camp will help to offset costs associated with travel, lodging and contest entry fees for the livestock judging team.

Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 18,413 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is currently implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled, “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

Registration is currently available for the Fall semester. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: