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South Dakota 4-H Livestock Judging Series

The series is a collaboration between the SDSU Animal Science Department and South Dakota State 4-H.

  1. To encourage more involvement in the livestock judging activity amongst South Dakota 4-H youth throughout the year and at the state contest.
  2. To encourage further growth in contestants’ ability to observe, understand and recognize differences in live animal evaluation.
  3. To improve public speaking, poise and confidence in the youth through oral reasons.
  4. To train youth to be individuals with outstanding honesty, integrity and communication skills.
  5. To allow more opportunities for youth to expand their knowledge of livestock species.
  1. Open to current South Dakota 4-H members that are in good standing.
  2. A participant must register and pay the $5 entry fee or late fee to become a member of the SD 4-H Livestock Judging Series to receive points earned at the participating contests.
    1. If the participant registers for the SD 4-H Livestock Judging Series after a contest date, the points of the earlier contests will count. However, it would be recommended that the contestant notifies Grace Olinger of the contests they have participated in prior to submitting their entry fee.

  3. Divisions for the Livestock Judging series will be split into THREE divisions based on 4-H age: Senior (14-18), Junior (11-13) and Beginner (8-10) (4-H age is age as of January 1).
    1. Each contest may have different rules or ages specifications. Contests are not required to standardize age ranges to these divisions, but it is encouraged.
  4. To be eligible for the series awards which will be given out after the state 4-H contest, contestants must compete in at least 3 total contests, which includes a minimum of 2 eligible contests, PLUS the State 4-H contest.
  5. Points will be awarded in the manner listed below. For each contest completed a contestant will receive 5 points.
    1. Contestants finishing in the top 20 of each contest will receive points within their respective division.
    2. Points are awarded will be 20 for first place, on down to 1 point for 20th place.
      1. Example: 1st place – 20 points, 2nd – 19 points, 3rd – 18 points, etc.
      2. If there is less than 20 contestants in a contest each contestant will still receive the max 20 points and etc.
      3. Points rewarded for rankings of individuals are in addition to participation points given at each contest completed.
    3. Points will be awarded according to the youth’s finish against ALL participants in the contest, not just South Dakota 4-H members.
    4. Attendance of SDSU Livestock Judging Camp will receive 10 points.
    5. We understand contestants sometimes move up an age division and fill a team, or a contest may have only one division and not the three recommended.
      1. In those and any other instances the scoring will be awarded in the manner below.
        1. Whichever division of the contest a contestant participates in is their choice. The points will be awarded in his/her actual age division 20-1 point(s).
          1. For instance, if contestant A is 12 years old and is stepping up a division from the junior division to the senior in a specific contest and receives 5th place, then that contestant receives 16 points, and those points are applied to the name of the contestant in the junior division for the series points.
          2. Another example is a contest has different age division or no age divisions. In this case the scoring will be similar. If a contestant in the junior division for the series receives 5th place in the contest and a contestant in the senior division of the series receives 6th place in the contest, then, the junior contestant will receive 16 points towards their name in the junior division of the series and the senior contestant will receive 15 points toward their name in the senior division of the series.
          3. For further questions regarding scoring please email Brady Jensen.
  6. All scores from the contests will be acquired from the contests via the chairperson of each individual contest. Therefore, all contest scores will be FINAL once received from the chairperson. The chairperson should send the score to Grace Olinger within 2 weeks after the contest.
  7. Contests at camps are not open to non-camp participants. It is not the intention to include these camps to require youth to attend a camp, rather reward the youth who would go to the camp regardless of its inclusion as a part of the series to enhance their livestock evaluation skills and to allow for more contests to be included in the format of the Judging Series program to allow as many contests in the program as possible.
  8. Rankings and award winners will be determined by the best three placings at eligible contests, plus, placing from the State 4-H contest and points for total contests and camps attended. Youth may participate in as many eligible contests as they would like/are able to. There is no limit on the number of participation points that can be earned.
    1. Example 1: Judge A finishes 1, 5, 7, 17 and 20 at eligible contests, 3rd at the state contest, and doesn’t attend judging camps. They earn (20), (16), (14) for top three eligible contests, 18 points for the state contest, 30 points for contests attended, for a total score of 98.
    2. Example 2: Judge B finishes 12, 15, 17, at eligible contests and 18 at the state contest and attended judging camp. They earn 9, 6, 4, for eligible contests, 3 for the state contest, 20 for contest participation and 10 for attending camp. Judge B’s final points are 52.
  9. The program emphasizes and promotes attendance and participation of events and opportunities to learn in compliment to the quality of the participation. Also, where only the best 3 scores count it allows for a contestant to drop a poor score if they attend more than 3 eligible contests.
  10. In event of a tie, it will be broken as follows:
    1. Placing at State 4-H contest.
  11. There will be awards for the top 5 in all three divisions.

4-H Youth Program Advisors may request to have a local or regional event added. Expectations for a local event to be added to the list are:

  1. Minimum of 5 classes
  2. Three species represented (Beef, Swine, Sheep or Meat Goat)
    1. Livestock – Contact local producers and 4-H members to have livestock available for the contest. It is not required, but if the livestock are available to stay until after the contest so contestants can go back through them, that is very beneficial from an educational stand point!
    2. A contest doesn’t need to have any specific class, but should meet the 3 species requirement.
  3. Minimum of one set of oral reasons or two sets of five questions for the senior and junior contest. No additional requirements for beginner division.
  4. The contest needs a minimum of 2 qualified individuals and no maximum amount, to serve as contest official judges. The officials should put placings and cuts on the classes. Also, the official committee should write the questions and score reasons. Officials and individuals taking reasons should not be coaches or parents of participants.
  5. Facilities – Provide panels, class signs and any additional equipment needed to facilitate a contest.
  6. Scoring – You will be responsible for the actual scoring of the contest. After the scores are official, the contest must send the final rankings of each division to Grace Olinger.
  7. Volunteers – Ensure enough help to have group leaders, announcers, time keepers and livestock handlers.
  8. Additional Awards – This is not a requirement, but feel free to get as much local support and provide any additional awards! The more of this you can provide, the more people will want to come back to your contest.
  9. Communication – We will provide any assistance we can, just keep us informed on how we can help!
  10. Must contact Grace Olinger via email, one month advance of the contest, to have your contest accepted to be a part of the program. Information should include:
    1. Complete hosting form by sending details of contest (exact location, registration information, contact information, times of contest)


Sioux Empire Stock Show, Sioux Falls

January 29

Black Hills Stock Show, Youth Day, Rapid City

February 4


Little International, Brookings

March 31


SDSU Judging Camp Session 1 (can only attend 1), Brookings

June 7-9

SDSU Judging Camp Session 2, Brookings

June 11-13


State 4-H Contest, Brookings

September 16


Lincoln County Livestock Judging Contest and Skill-a-thon, Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Lennox

June 30


Miner County Livestock Judging Contest, Miner County Fairgrounds, Howard

July 12


Hutchinson County Livestock Judging Contest, Hutchinson County Fairgrounds, Tripp

August 4

Check in 1:30 p.m.


Davison County Livestock Judging Contest, Davison County Fairgrounds, Mitchell

August 6

Contact: Karen Roudabush, 804-338-4350

Sioux Empire Fair Livestock Judging Contest, Sioux Falls

August 9


  1. Results and scores for the South Dakota Livestock Judging Series will be posted unofficially on the SDSU Livestock Judging page for two weeks. After two weeks the results will become official.
  2. If an individual would like to report an error in the scoring and/or question the results, they must file a formal written grievance within the two weeks of unofficial results. The grievance should be filed to Grace Olinger in the SDSU Animal Science Department.

8/4/2023 Hutchinson Co. Livestock Judging Tripp, S.D.

17 Beginners

PlacingNamesDivisionCounty50 Market Swine Pink50 Breed Does Green50 Sr Breed Does Tan50 Market Steers Gold50 Breed Ewes BlueTotal 250
1Katie SBegHutchinson4842504834222
2Rollins MBegHanson3446414550216
3Jace SBegSpink4050453534204
4Thatcher WBegHanson4240503434200
5Jake CBegMinnehaha4233484530198
6Hayes VBegMinnehaha3838503832196
7Kinley WBegHutchinson3850264430188
8Jake KBegYankton4731384426186
9Kasen WBegHutchinson4731234240183
10Lily CbegMinnehaha3140483030179
11Payton HBegHutchinson4321304539178
12Clate WBegHutchinson2443234740177
13Liam HBegHutchinson2842234340176
14Teagen ABegHutchinson4224424322173 *
15Jacob HbegSpink3142363727173
16Magda MBegHutchinson2531184230146
17Sam KBegSpink3131183427141

* broke on reasons class

11 Juniors

PlacingNamesDivisionCounty50 Market Swine Pink50 Breed Does Green50 Sr Breed Does Tan50 Market Steers Gold50 Breed Ewes BlueOral Reasons Steers jr/srTOTAL 300
1Gracelyn SJRHutchinson374050485038263
2Abby GJRHutchinson425045443437252
3Chloe WJRHutchinson404050385031249
4Rhett MJRHanson433743372744231
5Seth SJRSpink434221423934221
6Chanel MJRMinnehaha433121454732219
7Creighten WJRHanson373121503048217 *
8Lainee HJRHutchinson422148384028217
9Tenley OJRJerauld313143452741218
10Charlie CJRMinnehaha374021383045211
11Claire AJRHutchinson242848451633194

* broke by reasons

11 Seniors

PlacingNamesDivisionCounty50 Market Swine Pink50 Breed Does Green50 Sr Breed Does Tan50 Market Steers Gold50 Breed Ewes BlueOral Reasons Steers jr/srTOTAL 300
1Max NSRMcCook484738444647270
2Ashlynn RSRDavison434750374644267
3Payten BSRHand404736355044252
4Landon BSRHanson434245304744251
5Josie NSRBrookings433136375046243
6Patrick KSRYankton423136385045242
7Kendall MSRMinnehaha404323454740238
8Quinton BSRHanson404023423645226
9Wyatt ASRHutchinson434030452739224
10Cash MSRHutchinson333318454041210
11Carter KSRHutchinson434026352730201
RankingNameContests AttendedTotal Points
1Jake C7104
2Lily C6102
3Sam K697
4Jacob H691
5Jake K889
5Jace S689
7Hayes V685
8Thatcher W477
9McKinley R456
RankingNameContests AttendedTotal Points
1Charlie C7127
2Creighten W4109
3Tenley O7109
4Chanel M799
5Seth S693
6Alana O467
7Rylin F450

SDSU Livestock Judging camp is excluded from the contests attended but is still included in the calculation of total points.

RankingNameContests AttendedTotal Points
1Patrick K8129
1Payton B8127
3Josie N7123
4Quinton B7121
5Landon B7120
6Max N7104
7Ashlyn R7101
8Kendall M464
9Riley P124
10Clayton P221
11Lane D218
12Mallory C212
12Ireland M15

SDSU Livestock Judging camp is excluded from the contests attended but is still included in the calculation of total points."