Skip to main content

Livestock Judging

Livestock judging at South Dakota State University offers a “Tradition of Excellence” that few Universities replicate. As you walk down the hallway in the Animal Science Complex, you can find pictures of past nationally competitive judging teams. Within those pictures you can find many industry leaders, breed association executives and prominent producers within the state and across the country.

Past team members claim that participating on a judging team was one of the most beneficial college experiences they had because of the skill set acquired. Logical decision making, communication skills, rationalization of facts, time management and improvement in self-confidence are all areas where each team member improves throughout their time on the team. These skill sets are appreciated by the employers of judging team members and those business know and understand the value behind a national competitive livestock judging contestant. Employers have continuously sought out members of livestock judging teams because of this career development activity.

A livestock judging student should first enroll in AS 201, Introduction to Livestock Judging. The team will then travel the following spring and fall semester at 12 contests and complete their efforts at the National Contest in Louisville, KY. To be a part of the team, contact Tommy Norman.

The SDSU Livestock Judging team participates at the following contests throughout the year: 

  • National Western Stock Show, Denver, CO
  • Sioux Empire Show, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Iowa Beef Expo, Des Moines, IA  
  • San Antonio Livestock Exposition, San Antonio, TX
  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston, TX
  • National Meat Animal Evaluation Contest 
  • National Barrow Show, Austin, MN  
  • Flint Hills Classic, Hutchinson, KS
  • Tulsa State Fair, Tulsa, OK
  • AKSARBEN, Grand Island, NE
  • American Royal, Kansas City, MO  
  • The national contest at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY