Aggies’ Livestock Judging Contest Attracts 1,300 Students

March 9, 2018

Winning Teams Included Miami Trace High, East Clinton, Butler Tech and Miamisburg High Schools

Where else on March 7 in the United States were well over a thousand teenagers gathered without a single cell phone visible? Smart money says nowhere but at the Wilmington College Aggies’ 60th annual Livestock Judging Contest.

PICTURED: High school students judge sheep at the Aggies’ 60th annual Livestock Judging Contest, a signature, Wilmington College, hands-on learning experience for both the 1,300 high school participants and the scores of WC’s agriculture students who stage the annual event.

The time-honored event attracted 1,277 high school students from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky to hone their skills at agronomy and judging swine, sheep, goats, equine, beef and dairy cattle.

Winning teams were: Agronomy, Miami Trace High School; Dairy, East Clinton; Equine, Butler Tech; and General Livestock, Miamisburg.

Billed as the largest competition of its kind east of the Mississippi, WC’s Livestock Judging Contest represents real-life application and a hands-on learning experience for both the high school students and WC’s agriculture students that stage the event.

Harold Thirey, assistant professor of agriculture and Aggies adviser, said successfully attracting hundreds of high school students to the Wilmington College activity is a result of building credibility over the years and becoming recognized for staging a high-quality event.

“Where else can you find 1,000-plus students having a good time all in one place,” he said. “It’s a great thing seeing them doing something that is constructive, educational and fun.”

Thirey said the competition represents one of the distinct components of the College’s agriculture program, which was established in 1948 and has become WC’s largest academic offering.

The WC Aggies, with help from the Collegiate 4-H Club, host the annual 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 and state fairs, and by organizations centered upon the virtues of rural life.

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