Published on 06/29/20

Livestock judging builds decision making, soft skills — even online

By Cristina Luisa deRevere

More than 40 youth participated in the Georgia 4-H state livestock judging contest held virtually on June 20, 2020.

This evaluation competition, sponsored by Wilma Minix and the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, is a major event for the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program. Participants acquire a better knowledge of livestock by learning to identify types, grades, breeds and classes of livestock, as well as developing skills in animal science and profitable farming. The contest also encourages youth to enhance their skills in decision making, critical thinking and problem solving.

“While this year’s state 4-H livestock judging contest was not held in a traditional manner, we still felt the need to provide this opportunity to Georgia 4-H’ers,” said Sarah Loughridge, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension youth livestock coordinator.  “Livestock judging not only teaches evaluation skills, but also necessary decision-making and soft skills desired by employers.”

The main components of the contest include judging classes of livestock, such as market or breeding-beef cattle, swine, sheep and/or meat goats, as well as justifying their decisions through oral reasoning and question sets.

In the virtual format, senior participants in grades nine through 12 reviewed videos to place the different livestock into specific classes, answered a set of  questions on a designated class and submitted three videos providing reasoning for their placings. Junior participants in fourth through eighth grades reviewed videos for placement, as well as answering question sets for two classes selected throughout the contest.  

Youth competed individually for high individual and as a team through the combination of the top county individuals.

This year’s winners at the 2020 Georgia 4-H State Livestock Judging Contest are:


Senior high individual: Jordan Pritchett — Banks County


  • First place team: Emily Strickland, Mallory Lee, Morris Lee and Maggie Moon — Madison County
  • Second place team: Kylie Hurd, Seth Carr, Lowry Duggin and Matthew Worley — Gordon County
  • Third place team: Colin Williamson, Matthew Layfield, Leila Rimes and Chandler Thompson — Tift County
  • Junior high individual: Cheyne Norton — Grady County

All participants received a pin for participation. A team plaque will be presented to the top three participating teams.

To learn more about the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program, visit

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit or contact your local Extension office.


Cristina deRevere is the public relations coordinator for Georgia 4-H.

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