Young people age 8 to 21 competed Jan. 20, for $3,600 in individual scholarships and team trophies at the National Bison Association’s (NBA) Eighth Annual Junior Judging Contest. Taking top honors and a $1,500 scholarship provided by the National Buffalo Foundation was Krista Carter, Alliance, Neb., a student at Northeastern Jr. College (NJC), Sterling, Colo., who scored 229 points. The top placing team, scoring a total of 686 points, was also from NJC and included Carter, Logan Criswell, Chappell, Neb.; Lonny Trehal, Kiowa, Colo.; and Tyler Bauer, Loveland, Colo. The team is coached by Randell VonKrosigk, Sterling. Colo.
Carter’s total score put her in a tie with Logan Criswell, who also scored 229 points. Carter, however, scored higher in oral reasons, the tie breaker in livestock judging, placing Criswell second. He receives a $1,200 scholarship, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Buffalo Association. Lonny Trehal placed third with 228 points and was awarded a $900 scholarship from Rocky Mountain Natural Meats.
The second place team from Colby, Kan., FFA scored a total of 668 points and included Makayla Hoffman, Christian Callihan, Alexsis Dennis and Lauren Dempewolf. The team’s coach and FFA advisor is Sara Sloan.
The third-place team, scoring a total of 612.5 points, was from Brewster, Kan., FFA. Team members were Grace Oard, Koebe Lorg, Austin Bear, and Jake Benham. They are coached by Advisor Tom Rundel.
“The judging ability and quality of reasons continues to develop as this national contest grows,” said Dave Carter, NBA executive director. “The growing interest also is a reflection of the increased attention by producers, especially young producers, in raising bison as a career.”
The NBA’s Junior Judging program is based on criteria used in 4-H and FFA livestock judging contests. The bison judging program was started by NBA member and Stratford, Okla., veterinarian Dr. Gerald Parsons. He is the administrator of the NBA’s National Jr. Judging Contest.
“The level of interest and the quality of junior judges in this contest bodes well for the continued growth of the U.S. bison industry,” Parsons said. “We are glad to see young people interested in this business and learning about bison.”
The contest was held at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Denver, Colo., in conjunction with the NBA’s 2016 Gold Trophy Show & Sale. Contestants judged four classes: yearling heifers, bull calves, two-year-old bred heifers and two-year-old bulls, and gave reasons on one class. Each animal class and the reasons class had a total possible point value of 50, making 250 total points a perfect score. Team scores are calculated using the top three individual scores.
The NBA offers a junior membership, which provides young people 21 and younger with the same benefits as its producer members but for a discounted rate of $50 annually.