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Livestock judging camps return to Blinn College-Brenham Campus

Sessions being held for junior high and high school students

Sessions being held for junior high and high school students

June 28, 2021

Livestock judging camps are back on the Blinn College-Brenham Campus.

The Blinn College Department of Agricultural Sciences hosted hundreds of junior high and high school students at livestock judging camps this summer on the Brenham Campus. Camps were held virtually last year due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

This year’s camps included sessions for novice (ages 8-13) and experienced (14-18) participants. Each three-day camp educated students on the finer points of judging sheep, goats, cattle, and hogs. Blinn has one of the nation’s top collegiate livestock judging programs, winning a host of national titles, and members of the judging team assisted in hosting the camps.

“Our livestock judging camps give students the skills to evaluate livestock species,” said Dr. Bryn Behnke, Assistant Dean of the Department of Agricultural Sciences. “Those skills include the ability to rank livestock, whether it be for market or breeding purposes, and to give reasons about why they ranked the animals in a verbal justification.”

Approximately 115 students participated in each camp. Time was allocated for individual species, including practice classes. Each camp culminated with a judging contest on the final day, with participants competing for awards. Campers stayed in Blinn residence halls.

“It’s awesome to have students throughout the complex,” Behnke said. “Last year, the virtual contest was enjoyable, but you can’t replace the enthusiasm you see when students are on campus and enjoying the learning process.”

Madeline Rakowitz, 13, from Salado, said she was excited to be at the experienced student camp.

“I’ll be able to get a lot more practice in,” Rakowitz said. “I’m really hoping to learn a lot.”

Kyler Wendt, a 15-year-old from College Station, is a 4-H and FFA member who plans to study animal science in college, specifically embryology.

“I think this is a great camp,” he said.

With the 20,200 square-foot Rankin Complex on the Brenham Campus serving as its hub, Blinn offers agricultural science classes in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg, Sealy, and at its facilities on Texas A&M University’s RELLIS Campus in Bryan. It has one of the most active extracurricular programs in the state, including award-winning livestock judging teams, Agriculture Club, and Ag Mechanics Club.

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