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Aggies Hold 51st Livestock Judging Contest

Event Draws 800-plus High School Students to Fine Tune Judging Skills

February 24, 2010

Porcine Posing — Wilmington College's Aggies held its 51st annual Livestock Judging Contest Wednesday at Roberts Arena with some 800 high school students competing for prizes while fine tuning their judging skills in anticipation of this summer's fairs. Pictured are high school students from the tri-state area studying details of swine physique. The Aggies present the contest as a community service.

Porcine Posing — Wilmington College's Aggies held its 51st annual Livestock Judging Contest Wednesday at Roberts Arena with some 800 high school students competing for prizes while fine tuning their judging skills in anticipation of this summer's fairs. Pictured are high school students from the tri-state area studying details of swine physique. The Aggies present the contest as a community service.

Some 800 high school students from around Ohio and neighboring states converged in Wilmington Wednesday (Feb. 24) to hone their skills at judging swine, sheep, horses and beef and dairy cattle.

The Wilmington College Aggies’ 51st annual Livestock Judging Contest at Roberts Arena is one of the largest such attractions in the country and typically among the first competitions of the year.

It represents one of the distinct components of Wilmington’s agriculture program, which, along with Ohio State University, is the only school in Ohio that offers a bachelor’s degree curriculum in agriculture. WC’s program was established in 1948.

“This is the largest livestock judging contest in Ohio and east of the Mississippi,” said Aggies’ adviser Harold Thirey, assistant professor of agriculture.

“It’s kind of unique to see 1,000 high school students all together doing something constructive and educational,” he said.

WC Aggies hosted the competition as a community service in which they share their animal judging expertise in an event in which high school students seek to perfect their skills for upcoming livestock judging contests sponsored at their county fairs and by Future Farmers of America organizations.

Also, for the second year, agronomy students joined in the competition as they identified plants and plant species.

“Our College students get to work with some high quality animals and interact with sponsors (which might have some job networking applications), but the greatest satisfaction for the Aggies is simply putting on such a successful event for high school students,” Thirey said.

“This is a community service organization and a community service project.”