Undergraduate: Livestock Judging Team

Coach: Hank LeVan

Building Excellence

Students wishing to join the livestock judging team are required to be classified as a Junior and must complete ANIMSCI 2200.01 (Introductory Animal Sciences; offered each grading period) and ANIMSCI 3300 (Livestock Selection and Evaluation; Autumn). Academic excellence is expected from team members, and to be eligible for the team students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA while on the team.

Members need not be animal sciences majors, and the team has consisted of students from various colleges all over campus. Mr. Hank LeVan coaches the team, and those interested in building excellence through livestock judging should contact him via email at levan.27@osu.edu.

⇒ Read more about current and past Livestock Judging Teams on our History pages.

 

Past Excellence

Our team is rich in tradition and has achieved competitive excellence numerous times over the years. Not only does OSU have the second most number of teams in the history of the International Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest, but it also ranks among the elites in contest wins. Students from OSU have brought the “Bronze Bull” (also known as the Spoor Trophy; awarded to the high team at the International) home to Columbus and with it the National Championship nine times, making us 5th in the nation in total wins.

National Champion Teams: 1904, 1921, 1932, 1933, 1939, 1946, 1964, 1976, and 1984.

1921 1932 1933 1939
1946 1964 1976 1984

High individuals at the national contest

  • W.A. Martin (1904)
  • L.L. Mauls (1909)
  • Richard O. Smith (1940)
  • Max Cox (1950)
  • Harley E. Rice (1953)
  • Farabee D. McCarthy (1976)
  • John M. Adams (1977)
  • Kim R. Balo (Davis) (1990)

All-American Livestock Judging Team Members

An All-American Livestock Judging Team was established in 2000, and since, OSU students have thrived in pursuit of this achievement. 

  • Sandra Gruber (2001)
  • Jamie King (2002)
  • Susan Belleville (2003)
  • Ryan Bockbrader (2003)
  • Andrea Garmyn (2004)
  • Terri Specht (2004)
  • Elizabeth Homerosky (2007)
  • Sarah Wells (2007)
  • Natalie Miller (2009)
  • Kathleen Shircliff (2011)
  • Lindsey Grimes (2012)
  • Bailey Harsh (2012)

With our past competitive excellence, it should come as no surprise that former team members are often highly successful in their chosen career fields. Students that have gone on to become veterinarians, college and university professors and administrators, lawyers, political leaders, corporate executives, agricultural educators, and Extension professionals, among countless other occupations. As a result, the Animal Science Hall of Fame is filled with judging team alumni. In fact, as of January 2011, 48 of the 68 inductees were members of the livestock judging team (70.5%).

The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences has taken note of the successes of many of our past team members as well, and accordingly, more than 25 former livestock judgers have been honored for their career success since 1971.

The bottom line is this, if you are interested in achieving excellence in your career, a quick look will tell you that our program could be for you. The livestock judging program at OSU is designed to build excellence, and our former team members’ accolades are the proof.

Future Excellence

One of the opportunities current team members and past team members still on campus are afforded is working with youth. As a result of proven excellence, our students are often asked to serve as officials at many livestock judging contests throughout the state, including the state 4-H and state FFA events, and they are encouraged to become active members in campus activities.

In addition, camps and clinics focus on youth development through livestock judging. These functions will feature the very best livestock judgers OSU has to offer and are a fantastic opportunity for our students to give back. All of the curriculum will be written by former collegiate All-Americans and past Intercollegiate National Champions.

As we focus on developing a selfless attitude from our students on campus, we are also working with development personnel to ensure our programs are always secure financially. We have identified the four most pressing needs at this time to ensure continued excellence: travel, scholarship, 4-H/Youth, and department personnel funding. If you are interested in helping to build excellence through selfless giving, be it goods, services, financial contributions, or participation in our golf outing, please contact the coach.

Contest Experience 2017

We believe that competing allows our students’ experience to grow and also increases our ability to achieve competitive excellence. Accordingly, the OSU team will be increasing the number of events they compete in over the next few years as we continue Building Excellence.

The 2017 Team Schedule (subject to change)

Contest

Location, Month

National Western January; Denver, CO
Iowa Beef Expo February; Des Moines, IA
Houston March; Houston, TX
All-East April; Morgantown, WV
National Barrow Show September; Austin, MN
Stockman October; Auburn, IN
Boilermaker October; Pudue, IN
Keystone October; Harrisburg, PA
The American Royal October; Kansas City, MO
NAILE November; Louisville, KY

Advice From the Professionals

How did your experience on the OSU livestock judging team impact your career decisions?

“My career decisions are directly attributable to my participation on the LJT. Because of the internship I completed at Select Sires upon the recommendation of my LJT coach, I am now responsible for selecting all beef bulls for Select Sires, Inc., the World’s largest cattle breeding organization.” Dr. Aaron Arnett, V.P. of Beef Genetics, Select Sires, Inc.

“My OSU livestock judging team experience helped me develop the self-confidence to pursue the career that I wanted and the skills to be successful in it.” Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association & Ohio Beef Council

What was the most valuable asset you gained from being a member of the OSU livestock judging team?

“Professional contacts and lifelong friendships. People are at the heart of any business and the network of talented and respected livestock men and women associated with livestock judging teams is more extensive and successful than any other fraternity I know.” Dr. Aaron Arnett, V.P. of Beef Genetics, Select Sires, Inc.

“It is difficult to identify only one or two things that I gained from being a member of the OSU livestock judging team, because there are so many. But at the top of my list of assets would be the ability to make decisions and the networking doors that the judging team experience opened.” Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association & Ohio Beef Council

What advice would you give to students thinking about joining the livestock judging team at OSU?

“Do it! You can’t afford not to!” Dr. Aaron Arnett, V.P. of Beef Genetics, Select Sires, Inc.

“DO NOT HESITATE, if you are considering getting involved in the livestock judging team at OSU.  Becoming a Buckeye is priceless, but participating on the livestock judging team is just as invaluable. The communications and decision making skills you learn will be huge assets you will rely on constantly, no matter the career path you ultimately choose. And don’t forget the added benefit of making lifelong friendships and tremendous networking contacts.” Elizabeth Harsh, Executive Director, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association & Ohio Beef Council