The Judging Connection is designed to place educators, coaches, teachers, show committee members, judging enthusiasts, and judges in contact with each other. The Judging Connection has been established with the mission to provide a database for qualified livestock judges and present high quality educational materials. Our intent is to create new methods on how we select judges, teach students, and aid in prioritizing education in livestock shows. We hope you take the time to review our judge database and biographies to aid in your next judge selection. Our goal is to provide the hot topics and featured articles that are pertinent to educators, teachers, judges, and show enthusiasts.
Pointers for Selecting a Judge:
- Look at the judge's experience, career, and previous shows judged.
- Estimate if the judge can handle the size of the show based on their experience and age.
- See if the judge is qualified to judge the classes and animals in the show.
- Evaluate the achievements the judge has previously won.
- Look over the judge’s educational background.
- Review what kind of communication skills the judge may possess.
- Go over what kind of educational programs or presentations a judge may have been involved in.
- Analyze the judge's availability.
- Review if the judge is willing to travel and if the show is going to compensate the judge for their time or expense.
- Assess if the judge lives far enough away from the show being asked to judge.
- Find a judge that works well with the youth.
- Select a person that this fair, ethical, courteous, and honest.
- Assess if the judge shows or raises livestock themselves.
- Analyze if the judge is old enough or mature enough to judge the age group participating in the show.
- Select the judge you feel is best fitted for your show or educational program.
Judge the Livestock and Not the People:
As a judge you are hired to evaluate, educate, communicate, and express to others through organizational skills the decisions you have made. At some point in time a judge will be asked to evaluate a smaller show or a show with poor quality livestock. In this situation a judge will usually find one family that has better quality livestock in comparison to the other competitors. What is a judge supposed to do when one family clearly has better livestock over the rest of the competitors?
One option is to let the one family win everything possible basing the decision on the best animal should ideally win the show. Even so, from an evaluation stand point this tactic may appear accurate to a judge but none the less the judge would no longer be considered a crowd pleaser.
Another option is to let the best animal win grand champion and then select another family’s animal for reserve champion. This option would allow a judge to appear less political and show less favoritism by giving more winners to a larger variety of participants showing. Unfortunately this option could make a judge appear less consistent in their selection and placing. Yet, it might appear to the crowd the judge may be less consistent but more people will be satisfied with the judges overall performance in selecting a variety of winners.
Some judges over time become more popular and start to know the participants showing the animals. Although a certain family may have better quality livestock, show better, or compete more often, never the less does that mean they should win every time? The answer is no, because as a judge needs to evaluate the animals and not the people. Remember the animals can change from day to day, show to show, month to month, and year to year.
In any situation as a judge you are hired to evaluate the livestock. As the key evaluator it is your obligation to properly communicate your decisions from the top of the class to the bottom of the class. Several judges only discuss the top of the class and may never discuss the bottom of the class. This concept is questionable because the exhibitors placed at the top of the class usually have a broader knowledge on how to win and to be successful. Why would a judge need to spend more time discussing the top of the class when the participants in the bottom of the class need to learn more, gather information to do better, and to seek improvements for the future? Judges who never discuss the bottom of the class are either in a hurry, running behind, have a very large show to judge, or they simply do not care about teaching to every participant showing. This is a concept that needs to be logically thought through when talking on the microphone. What ever the case may be it is pertinent to remember why you are a judge in the first place.
The key to being a successful judge is to make quick decisions, communicate your decisions from the top of the class to the bottom, organize your thoughts, evaluate the animals to the best of your abilities, select a variety of winners, avoid showing favoritism, and always judge the livestock and not the people.
I really enjoy having a profile on The Judging Connection. I have gotten judging jobs in a couple different states from your website.
I have received a couple of recent call in the past few weeks because of the Judging connection. They were calls from British Columbia and Idaho, a state in which I have never judged. I have now judged in 31 states. Missouri State Fair meat goat and breeding goat; Kentucky State Fair breeding cattle show; Georgia National meat goat show; North Carolina Mountain State Fair meat goat and ABGA boer goat show; Alabama market hog show in Montgomery; State Fair of Texas in Dallas breeding sheep show; Star of Texas ABGA boer goat show in Austin; Southwest District Junior Livestock Show market goats and breeding goat show in Lake Charles Louisiana. This website has increased my judging exposure.
I did Judge the South New Mexico State Fair yesterday and they found me via the judging connection.
Thanks for your help
Thank you for your service. It has helped me with more opportunities to judge cattle and youth livestock shows in the midwest. I picked up the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, MT, West River Livestock Show in Dickinson, ND, South Central Junior Classic in Jamestown, ND and Millard Livestock Junior Show in Delta, UT to name a few. Thank you for the exposure.
I will definitely renew my membership.
TheJudgingConnection will be a great resource to bring together fairs, judges, and exhibitors. It should greatly help both new exhibitors and new judges to begin networking and learning through their judge and event databases, and wealth of information. It answers a need that has been long unaddressed in the livestock industry!
ABGA Certified Judge
The Judging Connection is a giant step forward in building a comprehensive clearing house from which livestock judges can be selected. Every show official should consult The Judging Connection when selecting their judges.
J. Barry Watts
Certified ABGA Judge
I was impressed with not only the number of articles, but the diversity of articles you have on the website, which I am sure will help many exhibitors increase their ability to do well in the show ring.
AMGA Certified Judge
Great idea - a collection of judges. I can see this as saving a good bit of time for our committee. Some of the articles looked great too.
This thing could really take off - best of luck with it!
Portage County Swine and Beef Committee
Just had the chance to look through your website The Judging Connection .com and found it extremely informative for all involved in the youth livestock movement. The industry really needs good young judges that are excited and passionate about the opportunity. Your site is perfect for show management looking for a judge to view the resume and make that contact. Your website is excellent and offers a lot congratulations.
Division of Value Added Animal and Aquaculture Production