The Livestock Judging Team from Black Hawk College East Campus came home with top honors in the junior college division at the Ak-Sar-Ben Livestock Exposition Contest in Omaha, Neb. The team earned the High Team Overall ranking following a 1st place finish in Swine and Sheep/Goats as well as 2nd in Reasons and 5th in Beef.
Billed as the World’s Largest 4-H Livestock Show, the Ak-Sar-Ben (Nebraska spelled backwards) Livestock Exposition and Rodeo in Omaha dates back to 1928, when its purpose was to get the state’s young people interested in livestock breeding. It started out as a nationwide breed show, but thoroughbred racing became an important part of the event when, during the 1930s, parimutuel racing became legal – as long as it was administered by nonprofit organizations.
The team coached by Dan Hoge and Jared Boyert had three members finish in the top 10 Overall rankings:
- Elizabeth Heaton of Toulon, Ill. – 3rd Overall, 3rd Sheep/Goats, 3rd Swine, 7th Reasons
- Tyler Gradert of Geneseo, Ill. – 5th Overall, 4th Swine
- Hank LeVan of Woodstock, Ohio – 9th Overall, 4th Reasons
- Caitlyn Bowyer of Sumner, Ill. – 7th Sheep/Goats
- Devin King of Lansing, Mich. – 8th Sheep/Goats
- Cory Edge of Rosedale, Ind. – 9th Sheep/Goats
Also judging for the BHC team were Tracey Clifford of Auburn, Ind.; Sully Frick of Alexis, Ill.; Matthew Hahn of Minonk, Ill.; Tyler Johnson of Kimmell, Ind.; Trevor Kirkpatrick of Washington Court House, Ohio; and Grant Malone of Abingdon, Ill.
Filling out the top five spots behind Black Hawk College were:
- Fort Scott Community College of Fort Scott, Kan. – 2nd
- Casper College of Casper, Wyo. – 3rd
- Hutchinson Community College of Hutchinson, Kan. – 4th
- Butler Community College of El Dorado, Kan. – 5th
The next contest for the team will be Oct. 17-20 at the Purdue & Stockman Invitational in Indiana.