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Aggies Holding 52nd Livestock Judging Contest at Roberts Arena

Event Billed as One of the Largest Judging Contests in the Country

February 8, 2011

High school students judge swine at last year's Aggies' Livestock Judging Contest.

High school students judge swine at last year's Aggies' Livestock Judging Contest.

More than 1,000 high school students from around Ohio and neighboring states are expected to converge in Wilmington Feb. 23 to hone their skills at judging swine, sheep, horses and beef and dairy cattle.

The Wilmington College Aggies’ 52nd 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 host 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.

The contest features WC students inside a pen with as many as 10 sheep, hogs or cows. On the rails of the enclosure, the high school students observe the animals and judge the quality characteristics of the animals in each class while the Aggies manipulate the animals around the pen, ensuring everyone gets a good view of each animal.

Also, agronomy students will join in the competition as they identify 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.”