UW Livestock Judging Team records best finish in over 30 years

The 2017 University of Wyoming Livestock Judging Team finished eighth at the North American International Livestock Exposition in November in Louisville, Kentucky. This marks the first top-10 finish at the NAILE contest in at least 30 years, Coach Caleb Boardman said.

“We have records of scores dating back to 1993 and from visiting with past team members through the late 80s, we can say this is the best finish for the program at the International in a very long time,” said Boardman.

Nationally, 138 contestants represented 29 universities at the contest. In addition to earning eighth overall, the team finished fifth in performance cattle, sixth in swine, eighth in overall beef and ninth in reasons. The total scores posted, as well as those in cattle, hogs and reasons, are the highest on record for UW.

The team was led by Zane Mackey and Garrett Barton, who both finished in the top 30 overall. Barton tied for second in swine reasons and was fifth overall in swine.

Earlier in the fall, the team finished eighth at the National Barrow Show, AKSARBEN and the Flint Hills Classic contests. They finished ninth overall at the American Royal in Kansas City at the end of October.

“Although the team was hoping for higher finishes at both Kansas City and Louisville, by being top 10 at both contests, they became one of six universities that finished in the top 10 at every national contest this year, which is a great accomplishment and we’re very proud of them for that,” said Boardman, who is assisted by graduate student coach Colby Hales.

Individually, Tyler Bauer led the team at the American Royal with a sixth place finish out of 122 contestants. He was also fourth in cattle and eleventh in both sheep and reasons. The team finished ninth in each of the beef, sheep and reasons categories and tenth in hogs out of 25 teams.

“This marks the end of a chapter for these students and while this team has helped establish UW as a nationally competitive program, I’m more excited to see what they accomplish in their future endeavors,” said Boardman. “A long line of successful alumni have come through this program over the years and my goal is that these students will continue that legacy of making an impact in whatever they do.”

Boardman extended thanks to the producers who allow the team to practice with their livestock, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Animal Science and private donors who support their travel throughout the year.

The UW judging programs include the livestock, horse and meats judging teams. For more information, contact Boardman at [email protected] or 307-766-2159.