The 2015-2016 Connors State College Livestock Judging Team, led by coaches Clint Mefford and Nolan Hildebrand, had a very busy schedule. The team spent many hours and miles on the road experiencing essential workouts in preparation for the numerous contests across the country.
The team finished the year strong, while one student, Justin Jensen of El Reno, Oklahoma, was named to the 2016 All-American Team, for excellence not only in judging competition, but also in academics.
The judgers began their season in September at the Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota. In a close contest, Connors placed 6th overall in the swine contest and 4th in reasons. Clark Reuter was 8th in reasons, talking a perfect 50 on Berkshire gilts, and was 13th overall. Kolby Coday tied for 13th overall, while Mattison Barnes was 13th in reasons.
At the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, the freshmen judging team placed 4th in sheep; 5th in swine; 4th in cattle; and were named 4th overall. The sophomores placed 4th in sheep, 5th in swine, 2nd in cattle, and 4th in oral reasons. Individually, Kaylee Casey, Justin Jensen, Tanner Burton, and Mattison Barnes placed 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th, respectively, in cattle.
The Tulsa State Fair Livestock Judging Contest saw much individual and team success. The sophomores placed 4th overall, 2nd in oral reasons, and 3rd in swine. Individual sophomore placings: Shannon Tacy – 11th in reasons, 1st in swine, 10th overall; Justin Jensen – 10th in Cattle; Kaleb Fontenot – 6th in reasons, 3rd in swine; Kaylee Casey – 9th in reasons, 10th in sheep, 6th in swine, 9th overall; Clark Reuter – 10th in reasons; Paige Stevens – 7th in sheep; and Payton Sweeten 5th in swine. Individual freshman placings: Anna Scott — 9th in cattle; Zane Blubaugh — 5th in sheep; Amber Wright — 3rd in swine.
The team competed for individual awards at the Buck Cattle Company Livestock Judging contest in Madill, Oklahoma, during their annual fall heifer sale. Brett Jones placed 3rd overall and Zach Donley placed 5th.
Team placings at the American Royal were as follows: 5th in oral reasons; 4th in sheep and goats; 9th overall. Individually, Justin Jensen of El Reno, Oklahoma, was 3rd in sheep, 4th in reasons and 10th overall; while Clark Reuter of El Reno was 7th in sheep.
The Connors State College Livestock Judging Team continued to improve as they competed successfully in a close contest at the 2015 North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. Individually: Shannon Tacy of Bend, Oregon, placed 10th in swine; while Justin Jensen placed 9th in sheep, 2nd in swine, 6th in reasons, and was 11th overall. Team placings: 4th in sheep; 1st in swine, performance swine and swine reasons; 6th in oral reasons; and 7th overall.
John Nelson placed 2nd overall at the annual Griswold Cattle Co. Livestock Judging Contest in December.
At the Fort Worth contest, results were as follows: Individually, Justin Jensen finished 2nd in swine; 3rd in horses; 3rd in cattle; 3rd in reasons and 2nd Overall. The Connors State Team finished 3rd in horses; 4th in cattle; 4th in reasons; and 5th overall.
During the Dixie National in Jackson, Mississippi, Connors placed 2nd overall. Individually: Justin Jensen placed 3rd overall; Clark Reuter placed 4th overall; Kaylee Casey placed 6th overall; and Anna Scott, Chris Hart, Zach Studer, and Shannon Tacy all placed in cattle divisions.
At San Antonio, Connors placed 6th overall, while Shannon Tacy was the 9th individual overall.
Recently at Houston, Justin Jensen was one of the 15 recipients named to the 2015-2016 Junior College All American Team, for achievements in both livestock judging competition and academic excellence. This is the highest honor bestowed among livestock judging contestants.
Being named to the All-American team is akin to joining a very select club, as many of todays top industry leaders hold this honor, said coach Clint Mefford. We are proud of Justin and all of his accomplishments this year.
We would like to say thank you to all the farms, ranches, and individuals who have helped us on our journey this year, said Mefford. We look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence with our upcoming teams this fall.