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Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team crowned National Champions

GALESBURG, Ill.: The Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team recently topped 34 states to bring home the National 4-H Livestock Judging title. The contest was held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY.  

History was made as this year’s contest marked the second time in the contest’s over 100-year

history that the top two teams ended in a tie that necessitated a tie-breaker. The top placing

between Illinois and Virginia came down to an examination of the overall reason scores with

Illinois emerging as the national champion.  

“The tie-breaker definitely added another level of suspense to the contest,” says Dan Jennings,

University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development animal systems educator. “As they re-

examined the scores, I think it really showed the team that every point and every answer matter,

especially at this level of competition.”

This year’s Illinois State 4-H Livestock Judging Team included Ty Knodle of Montgomery County,

Emerson Tarr of McLean County, Delaney Hemann of Madison County, Braden Musgrave of Pike

County, Katelyn Engel of Knox County, and Colton Russell of Warren County.

The National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest is the premier event of education and competition

for youth involved in livestock evaluation programs. In addition to the national title, the Illinois

team placed first in Sheep and Goats, first in Swine, first in Oral Reasons, and second in Beef


Individual team members also finished with honors.

“It was amazing to see the team perform so well together, but also to watch each individual team

members’ expertise shine as well,” says Jennings.

Emerson Tarr of McLean County placed third High Individual Overall in the contest. Emerson also

finished third in Sheep and Goats, fifth in Swine, and first in Oral Reasons.

Ty Knodle of Montgomery County placed fifth High Individual Overall in the contest.  Ty also

finished second in Sheep and Goats, seventh in Oral Reasons, and 10th in Performance Cattle. Delaney Hemann of Madison County placed 11th High Individual Overall, 12th in Swine, and 11th in Oral Reasons.

Braden Musgrave of Pike County placed third in Beef Cattle, second in Performance Cattle, and

12th in Oral Reasons.

The team was coached by University of Illinois graduate student Tony Dupuis. The Illinois 4-H

Foundation provides support for this program.

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