4-H members get chance to become judges


XENIA — Roles were reversed for Monday’s livestock judging contest as junior showman became the judges in trying to determine the differences between animals.

Approximately 35 kids entered this year’s contest, with ages ranging from eight-year-old to high school students.

Riley Evoniuk, 11, and Kurtis Evoniuk, 10, from Husky Hustlers 4-H Club both competed and found the contest to be fun to learn about different animals than what they are around every day.

“I thought looking at the muscles on all the animals was fun,” Kurtis said, who is primarily around goats and cattle every day.

Riley said she had grander things on her mind through each stop.

“Just having the idea that you could win,” she said, explaining it would be great to be told she was right about what she judged.

Starting with sheep, stops with lamb, cattle and hogs followed where each participant was given five questions they had to answer solely from observation and not being allowed to touch any of the animals. Some questions included figuring out the most muscle on an animal’s backside, to determining shadow differences and which stands out in a group.

While winning is always great, the continued education about livestock the Evoniuks and others in the contest received is what judges hope is the biggest takeaway.

“I wasn’t really sure what they meant in some of the questions,” Riley said while noting lambs were her favorite stop.

“I didn’t know anything about hogs,” Kurtis said while noting it turned out to be his favorite animal to judge.

The two choices they made of different animals than they raise is a good sign the contest is doing its job.

At the end of the event, the primary judge explained what she chose as the correct answers to further the education everyone received.

The participants will learn how well their judging was scored later in fair week after individual scores are calculated and posted.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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