Allen Newcomb Show Lambs & Treadmills

Lane Halfmann

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with American Royal Spring Youth Livestock Show Market Goat Judge, Lane Halfmann, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How do you try to stay consistent judging show to show?
Easier said than done. However I think staying centered on what you like and maintaining that thought process helps as much as anything. Tuning out any outside noise/opinions that could play tricks on your mind.

It’s down to the last few in a tough class, what will be the main sort?
Personally it’s just gonna come down to quality. I like to think that I try to elevate quality as much as I can no matter the show. When it gets tough, I try to think about which one I’d be most proud to have raised. It’s not easy to raise good ones.

What do you enjoy most about judging?
I love being able to travel to different parts of the country and see how the rest of the industry does things. It’s a diverse business and it’s always neat to try and go learn something from different folks

What is your favorite show you have been given the chance to sort?
Without question the NAILE wether show has stuck with me. Some of my favorite goats I’ve ever seen hit the ring were at that show and I was just along for the ride.

What other species would you want to judge that you haven’t gotten the chance to?
The show cow deal really intrigues me.

What’s one show in the world you haven’t gotten to judge or go and attend that you haven’t gotten to do yet?
I’d like to go an experience some of the Midwest state fairs. Haven’t had the pleasure yet.

What’s one goat that has won that you wished you got to judge?
American Royal ‘23

Matt Kennedy

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Oklahoma Youth Expo Wether Dam Doe Judge, Matt Kennedy, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How do you try to stay consistent judging show to show?
Stay consistent and use good ones. Everyone has a different opinion on what’s ideal but as a judge you’re need to stay fairly constant from show to show.

It’s down to the last few in a tough class, what will be the main sort?
Structure will always win out. At the end of the day these things are supposed to perform in a range type setting so they have to be able to move.

What do you enjoy most about judging?
Working with the kids, and never knowing when a great one is going to walk in the gate and wow you.

What is your favorite show you have been given the chance to sort?
That’s a tough one, haven’t ever done one I didn’t enjoy. If I had to choose I’d probably say the LSU spring show, great folks to work with and they cook up some incredible food.

What other species would you want to judge that you haven’t gotten the chance to?
I’ve been fortunate enough to judge most all the species we generally see at jr livestock shows. I’d prob say I’d like to sort more barrow shows. not that I’m qualified I just like looking at those things these days.

What’s one show in the world you haven’t gotten to judge or go and attend that you haven’t gotten to do yet?
I’d love to judge in Alaska.

What’s one goat that has won that you wished you got to judge?
Maci Zerbachs whether that wins Kansas City. That was a creature.

Matt Kennedy

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Doe Showmanship judge Matt Kennedy before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. We invite you to read our candid interview with Matt below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What showmanship competition is on your bucket list to judge?
If I had to pick any place to judge showmanship it would be oye the amount of quality showman in Oklahoma is very high.

Do you have a piece of advice for kids getting ready for their next showmanship class?
Make sure you know how the judge wants you to navigate the ring. Watch a couple classes and get a feel for it.

What is a mistake that kids are making currently, that you think needs changed?
Pointing the animals nose up in the air when they drive. Huge negative for me, hard for them to get on a good brace if their nose is aimed at the sky.

Do you prefer kids who show does or weather in showmanship?
I’m good with either.

Growing up did you compete in showmanship? If so, how did it affect you?
I did at county and jackpot levels, as Texas doesn’t have showmanship at major shows. It makes you a better showman for sure, you have to hone your craft.

Spencer Scotten

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Antonio Stock Show Market Goat Judge, Spencer Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Is this your first state fair or major? If not, what others have you judged?
This isn’t my first major. I’ve gotten to judge several of the majors in Texas including Dallas, Austin, Houston and I did the does at San Antonio a few years ago

What do you look for when evaluating?
I look for a balance of traits when judging. A blend of width and muscle with a good look from the side and sound skeleton is ideal for me. When it gets down to the last few I look for the most elite one that really hits me the hardest and is the most memorable. 

Did you judge in college? If so, where?
Yes I judged in juco and senior college.

What’s your occupation?
I currently coach at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma. 

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
I have a lot of shows I look forward to every year so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Being a judging coach makes it fun to get to go to almost every major show in the fall and spring, but there’s nothing like the feeling I get when I pull into the American Royal. 

What’s your dream vacation?
 After being on the road all fall and pretty much every weekend since we’ve been back to school makes any vacation sound pretty amazing. But an ideal one would be somewhere with good scenery, good food and absolutely no phone service.

Kash Allen

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Antonio Stock Show Doe Judge, Kash Allen, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Is this your first state fair or major? If not, what others have you judged?
I have judged a few smaller state fairs but this is my first Texas Major.

What do you look for when evaluating?
Not to sound like a cliche but the fundamentals of balance, skeletal quality, and body shape all go into making the initial sort.

If down to the last few, what will be your sort?
I love uniqueness and want livestock that push the envelope interms of extreme pieces, but they still have to do it in a package that is hard to pick on.

Did you judge in college? If so, where?
I judged at Eastern Oklahoma State college and then ended up at Oklahoma State.

What’s your occupation?
Agricultural Educator at Keys High School

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
The Oklahoma Youth Expo. It’s the last major stock show of the year for us and is incredible as far as the depth of quality across all species.

What’s your dream vacation?
I’m actually not a big fan of vacationing. I enjoy staying at home with my wife and relaxing, but if I had to pick one it would be a short cruise.

Shannon Scotten

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Angelo Stock Show Doe Judge, Shannon Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Is this your first state fair or major? If not, what others have you judged?
I judged goats this year at the American Royal.​

What do you look for when evaluating?
I’m looking for something that balances up nicely with a quality look and I’ll take them just as stout as their structural build will allow them to get.

If down to the last few, what will be your sort?
Hopefully, when it comes down the last few, they have balance and quality, and then I’ll sort those on a little extra power and feature.

Did you judge in college? If so, where?
I judged at Ft. Scott Community College and Missouri State University

What’s your occupation?
I raise and trade cattle and we raise a few show goats

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
I always look forward to the American Royal. It is  close to home and our family really enjoyed showing there the last few years that our kids were able to show.

What’s your dream vacation?
I’m not sure if this is a dream vacation, but my favorite thing to do is travel with my wife, Krista, to watch our boys judge at some of the major stock shows.

Jesse Henson

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Jesse Henson before he steps “Inside the Ring” at NAILE. We invite you to read our candid interview with Jesse below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

Do you like judging doe or wether showmanship? Why?
Wether showmanship is probably a little more consistent in terms of showing style so that makes it a little easier to sort. I really enjoy doe showmanship as well though. I think it takes a lot of talent to get them shown correctly, there just seems to be more variation of show style so it can be a little more challenging to compare showmen.

Do you think switching sides often is crucial in showmanship? 
I think it is crucial to give the judge to best view of your animal no matter the angle they are to you, so it is important to be able to switch sides smoothly to give the judge the view they are looking for.

Do you have any words of wisdom to give to the kids before they step inside the ring? 
Be confident, cool, and collected. It’s easy for a judge to see when a showman is worked up, and usually the animal acts according to the showman’s attitude. Also let your animal have a natural look, especially when walking the animal and ear placement when propping them up.

How important are first impressions to you?
Incredibly important. The show will be fast pace and there will be a lot of showmen coming though the ring, so making sure that you are locked in the second you come in the gate is crucial.

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
I look forward to NAILE every year. It feels like home being on the eastern side of the country, and I love the history and traditions that are behind it.

Skyler Scotten

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with American Royal Market Goat Judge, Skyler Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Is this your first state fair or major? If not, what others have you judged?
Although Kansas City is not my first major it’s one that has been on my bucket list since I could remember. Other shows I have done include Aksarben, Tulsa, Dallas, NAILE, Denver, Dixie and OYE.

What do you look for when evaluating?
I’m a composition guy. It’s a market animal show and I hold real world value to a very high regard. Those that have watched me judge know that chest width and ribcage is vital to me. I grew up with my dad selling show cattle for a living, one thing I promise it was easier to sell a stout big legged one than it was a tall pretty one.

If down to the last few, what will be your sort?
Power and squareness.

Did you judge in college? If so, where?
Yes.

What’s your occupation?
PhD student and livestock judging coach at Texas Tech University.

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
American Royal is my favorite. Although I enjoy all of them, Kansas City is my home and I get goosebumps every time I drive my the the complex.

What’s your dream vacation?
I’d really like to go on a Elk hunt with Spence and Clancy someday.

Leah Amstutz

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with American Royal Doe Judge, Leah Amstutz, to ask her a few questions before she steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Is this your first state fair or major? If not, what others have you judged?
I have had the opporuntiy to judge at several state fairs, but this will be my first major.

What do you look for when evaluating?
My first priority in sorting livestock is structure. They have to be built right starting at the ground.

If down to the last few, what will be your sort?
My final sort usually comes down to which one is the best in motion with the most unquie attributes.

Did you judge in college? If so, where?
I was a member of the Michigan State University Livestock Judging Team.

What’s your occupation?
I am the Director, in the Office of Career-Technial Education at the state agency for education in Ohio. Our office provides oversight of K-12 career-technical education programs and adult options.

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
The National Western Stock Show is one show I always look forward to every year. I feel it is a true representation of the livestock industry.

What’s your dream vacation?
The beach with my family.

Blake Foraker

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Blake Foraker before he steps “Inside the Ring” at American Royal. We invite you to read our candid interview with Blake below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

Do you like judging doe or wether showmanship? Why?
I don’t have a preference.  While they often share many similarities, showmanship styles can differ between wethers and does, and each have their unique challenges, depending on the type, kind, and presentation (i.e., clipped vs. haired) of the animal.

Do you think switching sides often is crucial in showmanship? 
Switching sides frequently is not crucial, and I won’t play games to try to catch a young person off-guard.  However, the ability to present your animal to its highest degree is crucial, and that may inolve switching sides at different times throughout the showmanship contest.

Do you have any words of wisdom to give to the kids before they step inside the ring? 
Consistently, quickly, and confidently accentuate the positive attributes of your animal in motion and on the profile, and you will place well.  In most, if not all, instances, this involves posturing of the head-neck and neck-back junctures at 90-degree angles.   No matter the species, I like to evaluate stock in motion. Many goat showman choose to present their animal in motion using a halter, and it can be a highly effective method for highly-trained animals.  However, all too often I see goat showmen with phenomenal profile presentation that fail to maintain that same kind of presentation in motion because their goat fights the halter. Most goats naturally break in their topline, especially in comparison to sheep, and fighting the halter only makes this issue worse. Call it old-school, but I think a chain works just fine to naturally maintain those 90-degree junctures in motion for most goats.  I like to interact with the kids throughout the contest, so the intensity can ebb and flow. Most importantly, have fun!  

How important are first impressions to you?
Gut reactions (i.e., first impressions) mean something.  I will know my top showmen as soon as they hit the ring, so long as they can consistently maintain that impression throughout the contest.

What’s one show you look forward to every year?
I don’t make it to as many shows as I would like, but the nostalgia of the National Western is hard to beat since it was the major show where, albeit relatively insignificant, our family achieved some of our most notable show ring successes.

Jared Whitcomb

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Arkansas Youth Expo Breeding Doe Judge, Jared Whitcomb, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
There was a doe at the Final Drive this year and a Wether at a jackpot I sorted in Ohio last year that come to mind

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I respect everyone wanting a hand shake after every class but I have reverted to giving fist bumps to help things move quicker

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
There have been multiple propel that have influence how I evaluate livestock

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
I think both are very important but it normally comes down to structure when it gets close

Tell us about your family!
My wife and I along with our daughter, Emersyn, own and operate Whitcomb Club Lambs with my family. We are very fortunate to be raising her in the livestock industry.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
I would probably have to say the bone and hair.

What’s your occupation?
I am currently employed at the Farm Service Agency in Petersburg Illinois

Ryan Rash

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Utah State Fair Market Goat Judge, Ryan Rash, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I was the first person to ever judge Tara Hummel’s 2019 Arizona National Grand Champion Goat at a jackpot show in Indiana and I knew and stated on the mic then he would win a major show.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Someone on the outside of the ring yelling at an exhibitor what to do in the ring.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
I have had the opportunity to be around so many great livestock minds there is no way to single out one person.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
Without a doubt in motion! There are so many talented, skilled and capable showman that they can stick a lot of the faults out of the goats but they can’t do that on the move.

Tell us about your family!
My mother and stepfather live in Crockett, Texas and they run about 500 head of cattle that is a mix of purebred Hereford and Charolais as well as club calf cows.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
It has become increasingly and extremely more competitive not only in the quality of goats and the goat showman but also in the fitting. The show goat industry has progressed and evolved in every single facet more than all the other species combined over the last decade.

What’s your occupation?
I am the Executive Director of the Beyond The Ring Junior Livestock Association.

I also own and operate SB Cattle Company which is a show cattle operation and consulting firm.

Dustin Coufal

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Nebraska State Fair 4-H Market & Breeding Goat Judge, Dustin Coufal, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I have been fortunate to evaluate some very good livestock over the years, especially goats. It’s hard to name just one that has been my all-time favorite.  As the game has gotten tougher, it seems that every year or two the best one I’ve ever seen to that point gets knocked off its perch by one. I will say though, the champion I used at Aksarben was one that hit me really hard when he stepped in the ring. After the first handle, I knew he was going to be hard to get around.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Bad sportsmanship. When we enter the ring, we know that one person is going to give their opinion and, on that day, their opinion is final. Poor behavior and body language from kids when they are placed low is my biggest pet peeve.  Also, outside the ring antics by parents and others who didn’t like a placing or how their child is showing is not only distracting but disrespectful to everyone involved in the show. People from outside of our industry are spectators and a negative outburst by one individual can tarnish the image our entire industry.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
There have been many people in my life that have influenced me on what I think makes a good one. I have been blessed with judging team coaches, my high school ag teachers, great friends, and co-workers who have all helped to mold what my view point on what makes one “ideal”.  From all these great mentors, no matter what their particular specie of choice is, at the end of the day those same principles of a good one is applicable regardless of the livestock project I am evaluating

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
Both are important views but when it comes to a close decision, I like to step off on a ¾ view and watch them walk.  At that angle I can see what the animal truly is.

Tell us about your family!
I have an incredible wife, Brigit, who is a Vision Specialist and keeps our crazy train on the tracks. We have three awesome kids: Cole (16), Kenna (12) and Ella (9) that are involved in church, 4-H, FFA, music and playing sports. They each have their own interests but the one common thing is that they all like showing livestock. Between all of their activities we don’t have much free time but the most important thing is that we do it all together as a family.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
The level of competition is insane. Showing livestock has always been competitive but I think with the access to genetics, breeders, camps, and enthusiasts the level of competition has increased dramatically. The days of going to a show and there only being one or two kids that are good showmen and only one or two good livestock are over. To be competitive in any specie at any level, families must be willing to commit their time, effort, and resources to have success.

What’s your occupation?
I am the General Manager at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, TX. I oversee the day to day operations and the annual Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo.

Ryan Mortvedt

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Tulsa State Fair Junior Junior Breeding Doe Judge, Ryan Mortvedt, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I’ve seen a lot of very good goats!  If the have presence, functional build, and muscle, they are my speed.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I don’t really have any particular pet peeves but I’m not a big fan of insincere presentation.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
I have had way too many mentors and influencers over the years to pick just one.  I try to learn something from everyone, especially those that I may disagree with at first.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
Youngsters have gotten so good at propping them up and showcasing them when they are stuck.  I probably study them a notch more as they motor around the ring.

Tell us about your family!
My family is my support system!  My wife, Carrie, and boys, Dayton & Brock, keep things rolling at home whenever I am gone or tied up with work.  They fill in all the gaps whenever we are busy and still work insanely hard on their own projects.  My in-laws, Gerald & Elaine, hold down the day to day chores on the ewes and does.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
Biggest change has been social media and marketing.  People make big decisions based on 2 dimensional photos and not necessarily evaluating stock in person or video.

What’s your occupation?
I am a Strategic Account Manager for United Animal Health and also operate Droppert Livestock with my family.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Kentucky State Fair Junior Market Goat & Wether Dam Judge, Ryan Mortvedt, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I’ve seen a lot of very good goats!  If the have presence, functional build, and muscle, they are my speed.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I don’t really have any particular pet peeves but I’m not a big fan of insincere presentation.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
I have had way too many mentors and influencers over the years to pick just one.  I try to learn something from everyone, especially those that I may disagree with at first.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
Youngsters have gotten so good at propping them up and showcasing them when they are stuck.  I probably study them a notch more as they motor around the ring.

Tell us about your family!
My family is my support system!  My wife, Carrie, and boys, Dayton & Brock, keep things rolling at home whenever I am gone or tied up with work.  They fill in all the gaps whenever we are busy and still work insanely hard on their own projects.  My in-laws, Gerald & Elaine, hold down the day to day chores on the ewes and does.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
Biggest change has been social media and marketing.  People make big decisions based on 2 dimensional photos and not necessarily evaluating stock in person or video.

What’s your occupation?
I am a Strategic Account Manager for United Animal Health and also operate Droppert Livestock with my family.

Troy Longenecker

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Illinois State Fair Junior Market Goat Judge, Troy Longenecker, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I always find one I fall in love with, and come home talking about, every time I sort a jackpot in OH. There was a Fledderjohan Wether 3 years ago I thought was absolutely incredible I evaluated in Western OH.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Any sort of distracting noise showman use to draw attention to themselves or to get their stock to move out around the ring makes me cringe like fingernails on a chalkboard. Eyes focused outside the ring, especially during showmanship.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
There are so many that helped me along the way. Tim Fleener comes to the top of my mind at a young age that took me under his wing and coached me in 4H. Joelynn Donough Rathmann was a great friend/mentor and I’m excited to experience the Coliseum together with her in Springfield. Folks like Evan Snyder & Eric Bruns have definitely been two of my idols as evaluators, shepherds and great stockman growing up to this point of my life.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
Lord knows I like a propped up goat, all pimped out at the ground with a breathtaking silhouette. However, I’m certain I’ll cut more on athleticism and build in motion. Those high headed, cocky strutting goats that hit the gate for sure get my blood pumping.

Tell us about your family!
My parents are the most supportive, loving folks. They sacrifice a lot for me to travel for showing, judging and mentoring youth. Dad’s got a farming background and instilled this passion into me. Mom is an educator and my only sibling managed the fields and facilities for the Vegas Raiders Football Team. There’s definitely a ton of people involved in my show family that are closer than blood. I’m very blessed for the hard working showman I get to be a part of their lives and milestones in and out of the ring.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
It’s changed for the better, Facebook memories remind me of that often. Performance and grow power is still important to me in some regards, however we have definitely focused on making heavier muscled, stouter made creatures that are simply more unique. The goat deal seems to gets more competitive every year.

What’s your occupation?
I am an animal nutritionist and work as a General Manager for a Liquid Feed Company in south eastern PA. I own Longenecker Show Stock where I primarily raise sheep. I raise goats with Triple H Show Goats owned by the Heisey family, and consult for the Lobdell Dorpers Flock out of Freeport, IL.

Ryan Driskel

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Ohio State Fair Open Goat Judge, Ryan Driskel, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I’d say my biggest pet peeve is when the showman are more worried about the hand signals coming from outside the ring rather than being aware of the judge and their animal in the ring. I’m not saying I’m totally against some help from the outside because the perspective can be way different. Take care of your work at home and let it show inside the ring.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Man it’s hard to exactly narrow it down to one person. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the sharpest livestock minds in the business. Getting to pick their brains during sale season or at the stands getting one ready has molded what I believe are my priorities when breaking down livestock.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
I like them things when they are on the move, prancing around like little show ponies gets me fired up. Not taking away from being stuck because that one that smacks you right in the chest prancing will typically prop up how a show goat should look.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
In my opinion the industry progressed at such an alarming rate in the past 10 years. The goats these producers are making are incredible animals that are hard to construct  and the showman are putting all the tools to use to create a highly competitive atmosphere.  I think where the industry has came from and to where it’s heading is absolutely exciting to watch and be apart of.

Caleb Boardman

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Michigan Livestock Expo Market Goat Judge, Caleb Boardman, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I’ve got to see some good ones, not a particular one sticks out to me. Maybe we’ll have a new one after this show.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Poor sportsmanship. I hate losing as much as anyone, but we are doing more than competing. We need to learn the life lessons along the way.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
I was blessed with a great set of coaches and mentors that all shapes my views. I get to be around lots of sharp young minds in my current job that still help keep me sharp and focused on breaking livestock down.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
I like to judge all livestock in motion. Great ones look good all the time.

Tell us about your family!
My wife Kylie is a mental health counselor, head lamber and manager of all the chaos in our lives. I have a son Cash who is 5 and twin daughters – Tatum and Tinsley – who are 3. We start kindergarten and going to start at some jackpots later this year, so big changes for the family! They are definitely the best thing I’ve ever been apart of.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
Things have just continued to get more competitive. The quality and depth we have now is incredible compared to 10 years ago.

What’s your occupation?
I am the livestock judging coach and a lecturer in the department of Animal Science at Texas A&M.

Skylynn Fleming

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with goat showmanship judge Skylynn Fleming before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Ohio State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Skylynn below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

In your opinion, What’s the most crucial thing to do in showmanship to succeed?
The most crucial way to succeed in any showmanship ring happens before you get to the fair. Those hours in the barn working with your animal learning their strengths and weaknesses allow you to use those qualities to your advantage. Make sure to find out what works for you and not everyone else!

How do you know when you have found your winner?
I have found my winner when the individual makes me forget I’m judging showmanship, what I mean by this is they are doing such a good job I can’t help looking at and evaluating the animal. If their animal starts moving around and acting up how are they handling it? Are they staying calm and collected or getting stressed. Those are they types of things I consider when I select my champion showman.

Is there anything you may do when it’s down to the last few showmen?
It depends on the setting, age, and experience levels of the showman. But if it gets very challenging I will try and throw them off in one way shape or form to see how those individuals are going to respond and react. 

What do you look forward to most about your upcoming showmanship judging experience?
While being on this side of showmanship is much more challenging because the level of competition has really elevated. I have always appreciated that this is the one area of the show that you can control. It isn’t about the animal (how much it cost/where you get it from), it doesn’t depend on the type and kind the judges prefer. It is truly about the way you are able to present your animal and your ability to  showcase all of the hard work you have put into your project through the entire season. I am excited to be able to reward the hard work these individuals have put into their animals!

Do you prefer kids that use a chain or a halter during showmanship? Does it matter to you?
While I don’t have a major preference I have recognized through the shows I have judged the individuals have better control over the animal and less issues when using a chain. However an exhibitor should keep utilizing what works best for them!

Preston Lawrence

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with California State Fair Market Goat Judge, Preston Lawrence, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Everyone is trying to win and I like people that have an extra shot of competitiveness as much as anyone. At the same time, be courteous to those around you and appreciative of the your competitors and people putting on the show. I think we all should take a step back and remember it is an avenue to raise the next generation sometimes it is good to get beat. It will motivate you to keep working hard.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Growing up my parents let me figure out my own path and did not push anything on me. It took me until high school to find livestock judging and when I did I was hooked. I had terrific junior and senior college coaches being Conner Newsom and John DeClerk who were certainly great influences in judging. My biggest infuence in evaluatng livestock is someone I have spent counless hours with in the last eight plus years. He gave me a job in college and the rest is history. He taught me to let the big things hit you, trust your first impressions, and you can accomplish anything with hard work. I truly owe everything I have been able to judge or be apart of in the livestock world to him and his family.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
In motion.

Tell us about your family!
My wife Molly and I live in Pottsboro, TX where I work for my familys cattle and sheep operation. We are quickly approaching our first year of marriage which has consisted of traveling up and down the road doing what we enjoy.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
I believe as a whole, the industry has made it an easier process for beginning familys to start their show career. Information is more accessible now than ever before which is huge for families starting out.

What’s your occupation?
I work for my families cattle and sheep operation in Texas and enjoy traveling around the country judging livestock shows and working with young people.

Caley Mayo

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with goat showmanship judge Caley Mayo before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the New Year Nationals. We invite you to read our candid interview with Caley below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is the hardest to decide on, while judging showmanship?
For me, judging showmanship is entirely subjective to the individual on the mic. Not everyone is going to like the same style or agree on the same showman to win, but the basic fundamentals are always there. As long as there is a showman in the ring I would be confident to hand my own stock to and not worry about them getting the job done, the decision is easy for me.

What do you think is the biggest struggle in the ring with this generation of showman?
I think the biggest struggle I see in the ring is simply being confident in their ability to perform. From all angles- ring side or on the mic- I see the nerves get the best of some of the best showmen out there. As a parent or coach, we naturally want to see our kids succeed, so we tend to be hard on them and coach harder when we think they have a chance to win. Staying mindful of this, especially in showmanship, is way more beneficial to their confidence and focus in the ring. There’s not a bigger pet peeve of mine than a showman who is more focused ringside than on the job at hand.

Is it hard for you to judge wether showmanship vs doe showmanship? Or how do you feel about it?
In my opinion, doe showmanship and wether showmanship are two different horse races in the same ring, and the best two showmen could be showing their animals in each respective style. There is a time and place for both, but at the end of the day, if that showman knows the flaws in their animal and can show them out with whatever style does that BEST- then that is all I can ask for and look for as an evaluator.  

Flying or Driving?
Whichever way gets me there fastest- with the best snacks!

Halter or Chains?
Halter or chain doesn’t make a difference to me. It’s 2022, as long as the goats move well and show well I’m all for either.

Favorite Sport Team?
Oklahoma State Cowboys! Go pokes!

Phil Myers

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with goat showmanship judge Phil Myers before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the National Western Stock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with Phil below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is the hardest to decide on, while judging showmanship?
I think the most challenging decisions arise when a goat or any animal starts to get squirrely on a showman who clearly knows what they’re doing. Seeing how the exhibitor reacts can benefit the showman sometimes but often not enough to get around another capable showman whose animal partner is behaving well that day. This is especially tricky in the young exhibitor classes where maybe the best showman has an animal that gets spooked versus another exhibitor who isn’t quite as intense or into what’s happening but their animal is perfectly compliant.

What do you think is the biggest struggle in the ring with this generation of showman?
I think the biggest struggle right now is getting showman into the ring, period. There are so many activities that pull youth and their families in different directions that it’s hard to do everything. A lot of those activities require or at least strongly encourage kids to specialize and focus solely on one thing way too early. Want to be an athlete? Not only do you have to focus just on athletics, but some coaches want you to also pick one sport and forget the others. The families that find a way to get to the showring are definitely making sacrifices to get there. I don’t know how, but I hope we find a way to bring back more balance to allow kids to be involved in showing, athletics, academics, and so many other activities that are vying for their attention.

Is it hard for you to judge wether showmanship vs doe showmanship? Or how do you feel about it?
I enjoy judging both forms of showmanship. I grew up showing sheep so I’ve always maintained that there are and should be significant differences in how you show breeding versus market animals. If you spend enough time evaluating them, there’s obvious similarities and differences, but if you’re going to really enjoy judging either one it’s the nuance within a style that makes it fun to judge. You can take a great market goat showman and stick them on a doe (or vice versa) and they’ll get along fine. But the really great showman within each style are in a tier of their own with how they operate and do the next level things that come from experience.  

Flying or Driving?
Less than 10 hours, driving. More than 10 hours get me a plane ticket.

Halter or Chains?
Halter on the farm for the non-show animals, chain in the showring.

Favorite Sport Team?
The Ohio State University Buckeyes

Dream Job?
Billionaire Philanthropist, but the good kind, not like the guy trying to buy all the farmland and jab everyone.

Jade Jenkins

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Jade Jenkins before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Arizona National. We invite you to read our candid interview with Jade below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is the hardest to decide on, while judging showmanship?
The hardest decision I have before judging a show is what to wear. Other than that when I am in the ring I know what style of showman I am looking for and they must have a calm,cool, collective manner.

What do you think is the biggest struggle in the ring with this generation of showman?
I think the biggest struggle in today’s industry is from the hype of show stock selling for 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars, to the expectations and pressure put on showmen, fitters, and even judges – at the end of the day most people look to blame someone if they didn’t have success instead of just accepting that we all play a game. If you only love the game if you’re winning then you probably need to quit playing.

Is it hard for you to judge wether showmanship vs doe showmanship? Or how do you feel about it?
No it’s no difference to me. The winners are separated from the contenders by their ring style presence and how they show their animal.  

Flying or Driving?
Flying unless it’s 6 hours or less then I’m driving.

Halter or Chains?
There are elite showman that show with a halter or chain but if your making me pick I would say chain. If used correctly showman can really make a goat look extremely exotic up front.

Favorite Sport Team?
Kansas City Chiefs

Dream Job?
My personal dream job is for our family business to keep me financially stable.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Jade Jenkins before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Kansas State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Jade below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
I was very blessed to have parents who had a halter in my hand when I was just a toddler. My family owned Jenkins Club Lambs, which was at one time a 150 head club lamb operation in the early 90s. My brother and I raised some of our own sheep until 2009 when I graduated.

After my show career, I was blessed to judge under some great coaches; Brian Anderson, Grant Grebner, Blake Bloomberg and Mark Johnson. They took a chance on me and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities they gave me.  

I am now an Agricultural Educator/ Advisor at La Monte R-IV schools and run business with my father called Jenkins Market.

I absolutely love judging livestock shows and working with exhibitors across the country.
To say the least I have been a product of the livestock industry from a young child and still have the passion I do back then.

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
My number one pet peeve I have in the showring is over coaching, especially in showmanship.

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
I don’t feel exhibitors need to switch stock in the showring especially at a state or national show. I rarely have kids do this anymore.

Halter or Chain?
I have no preference if the goats can get out and move. I think there are great showman that use both.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
I love steak in general but I would have to say Texas Road House!

Favorite College Sports Team
There is no question here… OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS!! GO POKES!

What is your Dream Vacation?
My dream vacation would be to go to Jamaica or Cancun, definitely somewhere on a beach!

Kolby Burch

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with New Year Nationals Judge, Kolby Burch, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who has had the biggest impact on your judging career?
My dad, Kelly Burch. He trained me from the time I was in boots and diapers.

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Decisive.

What is your dream show to judge and why?
Hawaii State Fair. It looks beautiful there and I’ve never been.

Do you like to fly or drive to shows – and why?
Depends on what is the most efficient. Anything over a 6-7 hour drive a lot times is worth flying.

Tell us about your family!
My wife Micky is the backbone of our operation and son Miles just turned 8 years old.

What job do you currently have/what do your daily duties include?
Full time sheep farmer. We’re early risers so chores are normally wrapped up by around 7 am ish and then we take on a variety of tasks until afternoon chores. Tasks are usually related to animal husbandry, marketing, etc.

What is your biggest fear?
I honestly don’t know. I try not to live with fear.

THIS OR THAT
Breeding Does vs Wether Dams
Wether Dams

Evaluating on the move or on the profile?
On the move

Josh Cody

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with American Royal Breeding Doe Judge, Josh Cody, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who has had the biggest impact on your judging career?
Kent Benson

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Consistent

What is your dream show to judge and why?
Don’t really have a dream show. Any show I get to judge is an honor.

Do you like to fly or drive to shows – and why?
At this stage in my life, fly. I used to like to drive to them, but after 18 years on the road flying is preferred.

Tell us about your family!
Ashley Cody (Wife) is the epitome of selfless. She gives 100 percent all day, any day, regardless of the task. Brynlee (Daughter 14 almost 15) is the most organized and prepared one in the family and never misses an opportunity to help or work. Kynslee (12) is my right hand “most days”, BUT she is a work in progress, some days she slacks.  Her passion for livestock production is like mine, but she gets distracted. It’s always a constant challenge to keep her focused. I would sum it up as, it’s the most rewarding and challenging role I have ever endured. Ashley and I work hard to raise them so that they have morals, values, purpose, compassion, work ethic and keep a “Positive Mindset”.

What job do you currently have/what do your daily duties include?
I am a Strategic Growth Manager with ZOETIS. My daily responsibilities are too much to describe, but all in all it’s my contribution to the Animal Health Industry. Once my day job is done, the rest of my time is spent in the barn with my girls.

What is your biggest fear?
Maintaining Relevance. “If you are comfortable you should be nervous”, both personally and professionally.

THIS OR THAT
Breeding Does vs Wether Dams
Breeding Does

Evaluating on the move or on the profile?
On the Profile

Payton Dahmer

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Arkansas State Fair Doe Judge, Payton Dahmer, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
My parents both grew up showing and got me started at a young age. There have been countless other people along the way who have taught me a lot about the industry though.

Where did you grow up? 
I was raised on a small farm in Nevada, Missouri which is in the southwest corner of the state.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I grew up showing all species at one point or another, but primarily exhibited sheep and pigs.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
Thats a tough one because I’ve been able to see many good ones. A blue sheep of Jill Keller’s that was reserve in Kansas City a few years back will always stick in my mind though.  

THIS OR THAT
Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Payton Dahmer before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the Arkansas State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Payton below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
Grew up on a small farm and showed primarily sheep and pigs through 4-H and FFA

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
Poor sportsmanship

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
I’ve done this a few times and think it can be valuable when a tough decision is on your hands. Showmen who just come in and mean business are the ones I gravitate towards, however, when it gets ultra competitive I occasionally like to see who can grab a different animal and get it stuck.

Halter or Chain?
No preference. Do whatever makes your animal look best.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
Anything mexican

Favorite College Sports Team
K-State Wildcats or Kansas City Chiefs

What is your Dream Vacation?
My typical vacations are to stock shows, but I wouldn’t mind going to Hawaii

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with goat showmanship judge Payton Dahmer before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the American Royal. We invite you to read our candid interview with Payton below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is the hardest to decide on, while judging showmanship?
Showmanship can be challenging, especially when you’re working with some of the best in the country like we’ll have at Kansas City. There’s so many good showmen out there and each has their own style – I don’t have much preference and tend to gravitate towards those who clearly know how to make their animal look it’s absolute best without drawing too much attention to themselves.

What do you think is the biggest struggle in the ring with this generation of showman?
Honestly, I tell people quite frequently how far I think the general population of showmen have come in recent years. The number of camps, clinics, and awesome mentors out there have really upped the showmanship game across the board. I guess the most common thing I see that tends to bug me are kids who spend more time looking for their sidelines coach than paying attention to the ring, but in general I think the number of elite showmen out there has far surpassed what it used to be when I was still showing.

Is it hard for you to judge wether showmanship vs doe showmanship? Or how do you feel about it?
To me, there’s no difference. The best showmen in my opinion are those who know how to get their animal presented at its best and make it look natural. Goat showmanship is unique because you can have kids bracing wethers or showing does off the chain – it makes no difference to me as long as they execute making that critter look it’s best  

Flying or Driving?
Flying in the year 2022 is a nightmare. I’ll drive.

Halter or Chains?
No preference – whatever makes that goat look it’s best.

Favorite Sport Team?
K-State Wildcats and Kansas City Chiefs

Dream Job?
Professor and livestock judging team coach

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with market goat showmanship judge Payton Dahmer before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the Arizona National Livestock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with Payton below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

Hometown: Nevada, Missouri

Occupation: Working on a PhD at Kansas State University

What is your background in the livestock industry?
While I grew up in agriculture, my upbringing to the livestock industry was through 4H and FFA. I didn’t get to grow up raising sheep or goats, so I surrounded myself with knowledgeable people to help get me involved. I showed through high school and then attended Butler Community College and Kansas State University where I competed on the livestock judging team at both schools. This opened the door even more for me to fully engulf myself in the industry through the numerous connections I had made.

How did you get started?
I grew up with parents who were pig and cattle folk, so it took a lot of convincing for them to get me my first lamb way back when. Fast forward a few years and I met Craig Green and Justin Nathan who really helped me learn more about the industry and meet countless other people who helped get me to where I am now.

What are some likes or dislikes you have?
When it comes to showmanship I don’t have a certain style that I’m more drawn to. The kids that can come in, make their animal look the part and be confident in doing so will surface. I’m not big on ‘trying too hard’, however. The best showman make it look natural in my opinion and don’t overdo it.

Halter or Chain?
I have no preference here – whatever makes your goat look the best.

FAVORITES

Favorite Food or Restaurant
I’m a sucker for a good hometown Mexican restaurant.

Favorite Sports Team
Anybody who knows me will tell you I’m not an avid sports follower, and its true. However, as a proud Missourian and a diehard K-Stater, you’ll find me rooting for the KC Chiefs or the K-State Wildcats.

Favorite Song or Band
I have a wide taste in music from 90’s country to rap… Flatland Cavalry or Grady Spencer and the Work are my consistent go-to’s though.

Favorite Stock Show Trip
I’ve loved getting to travel all over the country to stock shows. Ironically, my favorite trip is the shortest one to the American Royal. It was the first national show I showed at and has always held a special meaning to me since its in my home state.

Jessup Yeaman

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with State Fair of Texas Market Goat Judge, Jessup Yeaman, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
My grandparents and parents got me involved in agriculture from an early age. My grandparents ranched for living and I worked with them for years and even managed their operation while in high school after a major health event ended my grandfathers ability to ranch. Russell Kott was my county agent when I was growing up and he did a great job of introducing us to the show stock side of things as well.

Where did you grow up? 
Rocksprings, TX, which is in the southwestern part of the state. 

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I showed a few goats and lambs growing up and learned a good deal from those experiences, but honestly the projects were an after thought compared to my responsibilities on the ranch during high school.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
I’ve been fortunate enough to get to sort through lots of high quality sets of livestock, so it’s really difficult to pick a single animal as a favorite. One that really sticks out to me to this day though is the wether I used to win the Houston market goat show in 2013. That one was really special in terms of his massive build that he combined with balance and proportionality. He was ahead of his time.

THIS OR THAT
Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Silence

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
Nationals

Wravenna Bloomberg

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Oklahoma State Fair Junior Goat Judge, Wravenna Bloomberg, to ask her a few questions before she steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
I’ve been involved in the livestock industry my entire life. My great-grandparents even showed livestock in the early 1900’s. Being raised with multiple species made me passionate about all aspects of livestock production and its greater impact on society.

Where did you grow up? 
Central Nebraska

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
Yes, we showed cattle, sheep and hogs across the country.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
There have been several. Over the years, types and priorities have changed somewhat, but I’ll always remember the elite ones.

THIS OR THAT
Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Does

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Wravenna Bloomberg before she steps “Inside the Ring” at the Oklahoma State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Wravenna below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
Grew up in central Nebraska on a diversified livestock operation. I attended Black Hawk and OSU where I was part of successful livestock judging teams at both. I have worked in livestock marketing and the purebred cattle sales business for over 15 years. Currently, I enjoy judging shows and being a mom to four young showman.

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
Lack of ring courtesy to other exhibitors.

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
I see the need for it sometimes, but usually I feel the best showman surface to the top on their own.

Halter or Chain?
Whatever the showman and animal are used to and allows them to preform the best.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
Outback Steakhouse

Favorite College Sports Team
OSU Cowboys!

What is your Dream Vacation?
Somewhere on a beach

Bryson Williams

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Bryson Williams before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the Wyoming State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Bryson below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

Who got you involved in the livestock industry and how?
Kent Lewis, Todd Beyers, and Logan Newsom were my county agents growing up. I owe them a lot of praise and don’t thank them nearly enough for the path they put me on. I bought my first set of does from Rory Duelm when I was young and leaned on him for advise.

What is a pet peeve you have in showmanship? 
Eye rollers and bad attitudes.

Are you a first impression judge? 
Yes. It’s hard to forget a first impression.

Favorite type of food?
Anything my wife cooks!

Dream vacation?
We’ve gotten the chance to go to some neat places the last few years. I probably dream more about hauling my kid across the country looking for show projects and going to stock shows rather than the beach or mountains at the moment.

College or Professional Sports?
Texas Tech Mens Basketball. Hopefully Texas Tech Football again one day.

Favorite Show you have judged?
My late friend Jason Spence gave a strong recommendation for me to judge the Ok State Fair while I was finishing up college. That one probably means the most to me because of the faith he had in a young, dumb college kid!

Glen Alan Phillips

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Missouri State Fair Goat Judge, Glen Alan Phillips, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
My father was an Agriculture Science Teacher and I was with my dad all the time prior to starting kindergarten.  I remember vividly going to sales, shows, and on project checks with him.  The passion for livestock and livestock shows began at that point

Where did you grow up?
I grew up 60 miles southwest of Lubbock in Seagraves, Texas.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
Yes, my 3 sisters and I all showed lambs and hogs.  I fed a few county level show steers, but we focused on lambs and hogs.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
To single out one animal is challenging, there are many that hit me hard on a particular day and as types and kinds have changed over the past 30 years and livestock has improved, there are many that stand out for their particular time.

THIS OR THAT
Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Hunter Shoemaker

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Hunter Shoemaker before he steps “Inside the Ring” at Indiana Stock Show. We invite you to read our candid interview with Hunter below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
I grew up raising market lambs in central Ohio. After high school I attended Fort Scott Community College in southeast Kansas and Iowa State University and was a member of the livestock judging team at both.

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
When an animal stops walking and a showman either just pulls at the head or stops and waits for someone else to dock the animal, it especially bothers me with older kids.

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
I understand why some judges do it, but it’s not for me. Personally it seems like unnecessary stress on the animals and doesn’t allow the exhibitors to showcase the hard work they put in with their own projects. In close situations I prefer asking questions.

Halter or Chain?
A few years ago I was team chain all the way, but anymore I’d say whatever makes the animal and showman most comfortable and allows them to look their best.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
It’s hard to beat the consistency of Texas Roadhouse, but my all time favorite place to eat and the reason I’m most excited to go to Indiana…. White Castle don’t judge me

Favorite College Sports Team
Iowa State University, specifically the football team that Matt Campbell is a saint.

What is your Dream Vacation?
High heat, low humidity, and livestock. Or anywhere Iowa State is playing in the college football playoffs… a guy can hope

Cody Sloan

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Nebraska State Fair 4-H Goat Judge, Cody Sloan, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
My parents got my brother and I started showing livestock and raising livestock at a young age. I was born on a family farm and livestock was a big part of our childhoods.

Where did you grow up? 
Cameron, Missouri

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
Yes, I started showing sheep at the age of 4 and continued through my 4-H and FFA days. I also showed pigs and a couple of steers and heifers.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
I judged a camel and her baby (cow calf pair I guess?) at a county fair in Missouri. I’m not sure that’ll ever be topped. I tried to be funny and made a comment on the microphone about the camel needing to be more relaxed in her spine… no one laughed unfortunately.

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
National Shows

Tyler Boles

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with West Virginia State Fair Goat Judge, Tyler Boles, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
My grandfather, Larry Chambers originally. He had judged many counties in Texas when they had first implemented showing market goats. When the Oklahoma Youth Expo put them in the sale of champions he said we would be one of them. Since graduating high school I have had the honor to work with the most talented and respected people in the industry

Where did you grow up? 
Asher, OK. A small town in central Oklahoma. I now live in Fort Gibson, OK with my wife Ashton and daughter Chamberlain. I am an Agricultural Education Instructor at Fort Gibson School.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I began showing sheep when I was nine, at that time I didn’t know that showing goats was a thing. My brother and I put our first goats on feed the summer of 2004 and I have been involved in the show goat industry ever since.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
That is a tough one. I would have to say the Grand Wether at the Red Wave in 2020. I don’t think he weighed over 40 pounds that day but hit me incredibly hard.

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Josh Taylor

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Iowa State Fair FFA Goat Judge, Josh Taylor, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
I was introduced to the boer goat at the Ft. Worth stock show in 2000. I found them intrigueing and thought it would be a good starting point for my son to start showing livestock. We purchased our first goats in 2005 and have since maintained a herd of registered and wether bred genetics.

Where did you grow up? 
I grew up in west central Illinois in the town of Rushville. It is a smaller farming community with a lot of livestock influences.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I started showing Hereford cattle at a young age. My family raised Herefords and they became my first love. I began working in the Hereford breed throughout college and have continued to work in the purebred cattle industry my entire life.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
The market goats that I used to win the American Royal in 2014 and San Antonio Livestock show in 2018 were two of my favorites. On the cattle side, the Grand Champion Polled Hereford heifer at the 2021 Junior National was my most recent favorite.

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Chastin Leggett

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Missouri State Fair Market Goat Judge, Chastin Leggett, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
Kim and Tracy Brown – my godparents. My Godsister Taylor passed me a note in church that said, “Do you want to go to 4-H”, I actually wanted to go see the new Rugrats movie but thankfully I passed the note back with a simple “Yes” . My mom bought me a $75 pig and the rest is history!

Where did you grow up? 
Columbus, Kansas

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
Yes! I started as a rabbit kid but quickly found my love for showing livestock and have shown pigs, cattle, sheep, and goats.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
The most memorable animal I’ve ever judged is “Yukon” the Reigndeer at the Alaska State Fair!

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Colby Redifer

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Missouri State Fair Doe Judge, Colby Redifer, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
I was born into a family where raising livestock was part of our day to day life. I jokingly tell people that luckily I got my mom’s smarts and my dad’s livestock savviness. I am very thankful for all my parents have done to allow my brothers and I to show livestock and grow up involved in this industry.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I was fortunate to be able to show all four species of livestock during my time in 4H and FFA. I’m sure I have it backwards, but I like to say that I was showing sheep before I could walk. We got into breeding and showing goats in 2008, I showed a few breeding heifers that we raised, and a couple of pigs one year for the experience.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate a lot of good ones in the ring so that’s a tough one to answer. One of my most memorable moments in the ring was judging senior sheep showmanship at Iowa State Fair. There were probably 25 kids in the final drive and I couldn’t get any of them to make a mistake – if I moved, they moved or if the lamb got out of place, they were on it instantly. That was an awesome set of kids and a lot of fun!

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Silence

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Does

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Colby Redifer before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the Missouri State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Colby below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
Growing up my dad managed a seedstock cattle operation (Angus and Gelbvieh) and raised club lambs, then in 2008 we also got into the wether type goats. I judged livestock at Butler Community College and Texas Tech University. After undergrad, I completed a master’s at Iowa State University and I am almost finished with my Ph.D. at the University of Missouri, both focused on cow nutrition during pregnancy.

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
I just want things to be natural, the way you show in showmanship should be no different than how you show in the market or breeding shows or how you have been practicing at home. Also, there may be one judge in the ring, but there are a lot of eyes on you as an exhibitor – peewee/junior exhibitors, grandparents, or fairgoers who are not as familiar with agriculture. Always remember that!

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
I am not a big fan of it and don’t have exhibitors do it. Part of good showmanship is understanding your own animal, being able to highlight its better qualities and show out the flaws that it may have.

Halter or Chain?
Both can work just fine, but if forced to choose I’d say halter. Livestock look their best if they are moving naturally, so regardless of what an exhibitor uses just make sure they aren’t choking down because of the chain or taking 10 good steps and then jumping and leaping on a halter.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
El Gran Rodeo is a Mexican restaurant back home (in Virginia – yes I know) that I always have to hit up when I am back visiting family. I always order the same entrée and they have this white sauce with their chips (they won’t say what’s in it) and I’ve never found anything like it elsewhere.

Favorite College Sports Team
Virginia Tech Hokies – it is my parents’ alma mater and growing up in Blacksburg I went to a lot of football and basketball games. In all my travels for my own schooling, I’ve still stayed most loyal to the Hokies.

What is your Dream Vacation?
The La Rural (the Rural Exhibition) that takes place in Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina has always been on the top of my bucket list. The cattle show particularly looks to be phenomenal and just a different kind of cattle that have been selected for there. I’ve never traveled to South America, so it would be a good reason for general sightseeing.

John Romero

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with New Mexico State Fair Market Goat Judge, John Romero, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
That’s a tough question, I’ve had the opportunity of seeing a lot of high quality ones over the last few years, be hard to pin point one.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Bad attitudes with young people, I’m not a fan at all.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Another tough one, even from early days in high school and through life this far, I’ve had the pleasure of being influenced by multiple breeders and evaluators across species. Honestly, I really struggle when there is a small ruminate show being streamed on social media because I find myself not accomplishing much because I really do enjoy listening and watching other judges sort.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
In motion all the way, don’t be me wrong, I like them to be wild looking when they are propped up, but a show pony will separate themselves in motion. Build quality is very important.

Tell us about your family!
My brother and I live in Oklahoma, Roberto is a Freshmen at Redlands Community College in El Reno, OK. Most of my family is back in GA where I’m originally from. My father, Jose, works in construction pouring concrete. My mother, Rosa, works at Bucee’s. My older brother, Raul, owns a roofing company. Wesly is a senior at Berry College in Rome, GA. My youngest siblings, Candy and Aaron are 8th graders at Red Bud Middle School in Calhoun, GA.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
10 years ago I was a Junior in high school and I remember looking at stock show magazines and telling myself how good the stock that was winning shows at the highest levels, looking back now, they are not as elite as the ones that hanging banners today. Just very impressive on how we have made livestock better over time. My applauds go to the breeders and the young people getting them ready to exhibit them.

What’s your occupation?
I’m the sale barn manager at Pfeiffer Farms in Orlando, OK. They run 1500 goats, 300 cows, and 425 commercial sheep.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with California Youth Ag Expo Goat Judge, John Romero, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
The Hubbard Family from Ewing, Virginia are the ones that helped me find my passion/interest! My first day of High School, I was in enrolled in Ag class, been hooked ever since!

Where did you grow up? 
Born and raised in Calhoun, GA.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I exhibited sheep and swine. I was always fascinated by goats, but never had the opportunity to show them.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
I had the opportunity of judging the T&D Jackpot in 2020 in Eufaula, OK. I used a blue ewe that was absolutely gnarly looking. I believe she went on and won the Commercial Ewe Show at OYE.

THIS OR THAT
Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge John Romero before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the Mississippi Youth Expo. We invite you to read our candid interview with John below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
I grew up showing pigs and sheep, also did a little bit of livestock judging. I went to Redlands Community College & Oklahoma State, I was part of of both judging teams. I now reside in Mulhall, OK and work @ Pfeiffer Farms in Orlando, OK.

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
Bad attitudes, not a fan at all

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
It doesn’t make a difference to me.

Halter or Chain?
Chain all the way.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
Nola’s, it’s in Tulsa, very good Cajun food.

Favorite College Sports Team
The Cowboys from Oklahoma state.

What is your Dream Vacation?
I don’t know if I really have one, but I do think it would be very cool to go Fenway Park in Boston.

Brad Horner

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with California State Fair Junior Goat and Wether Dam Doe Judge, Brad Horner, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
I grew up in the livestock industry from the start. My Dad, Dick Horner, raised Angus cattle and Yorkshire hogs and made the transition into raising show lambs because of a joke by his college roommate in 1985.

Where did you grow up? 
I grew up in Mason City, IL until the fifth grade. We then, due to my Dads career, made a move to Vandalia, IL. I lived there until about 10 years ago when we moved to Newton, IL.

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
Yes I did. I grew up showing market hogs. I actually won the Illinois State Fair when I was 5 years old with a Yorkshire barrow my Dad raised and have been hooked ever since. Throughout my showing career, I also showed cattle and market lambs.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
I have had the opportunity to judge a lot of very good livestock, of multiple species. With that being said, the Grand Champion market goat at NAILE that I chose was a creature for that time.

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
State Fairs

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with showmanship judge Brad Horner before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the California State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Brad below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring – Showmanship Edition”

Sponsored by Leggett’s You Gotta Believe Livestock Camps

What is your background in the livestock industry?
I grew up raising and showing livestock across the country since I was 5 years old. I have judged shows in 31 states. With my wife Sarah and 3 sons Cole, Maddox and Maverik, we own and operate Horner livestock, we have raised cattle, hogs and now our emphasis is on competitive market lambs.

What is the #1 pet peeve you have in while in the ring? 
Picking the front legs up off the ground while set up on the profile.

How do you feel about switching exhibitors and stock? 
I don’t do it. I can understand the guys position that do, but I want to see who has spent the time at home with their project and see how they mesh together in the ring.

Halter or Chain?
It absolutely doesn’t matter to me. Figure out what your goat responds to the best and is the most comfortable with to give you the largest advantage in the showring.

Favorite Steakhouse (Or Restaurant)?
I travel a lot for work so I always look for the local restaurants. In California, Wool Growers Restaurant in Bakersfield is legit.

Favorite College Sports Team
Baseball – Mississippi State
Football – Ohio State
Basketball – Illinois Fighting Illini

What is your Dream Vacation?
Fiji

Patrick Padgett

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with the Texas Stars Wether Doe Show Judge, Patrick Padgett, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm. I raised and showed hogs and lambs throughout my 4-H and FFA career and that set a great foundation. After I graduated high school, I can think back and point to three things that really sparked my interest in the livestock show industry. The first was getting the opportunity to judge  livestock in college. The second was an internship with McGolden Club Lambs in the late 90’s and the third was becoming an ag teacher in Texas in the early 2000’s right when goat showing was starting to really take off. Of course my father was my greatest influence by sharing his love for agriculture with me. Something I am trying  to do with my students and my children everyday.

Tell us about your career.
I started judging shows while I was in junior college and I have really enjoyed getting the chance to work with kids and sorting good livestock ever since. I have been an agricultural science teacher for over twenty years and I have had the opportunity to judge many local and county shows and I enjoy working with those shows as much as I do the larger shows.

What is your all-time favorite show?
My all time favorite show when I showed was the North American Livestock Exposition. It was the big one for me, but now as an ag teacher in Texas my favorite show is a toss up between the San Antonio Livestock Show and the Houston Livestock Show. It seems that the best animals always end up in San Antonio every year, but the facilities at Houston are the best in the country.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
I think my biggest pet peeve is when showmen push out of line to cover up the animals in front and behind them. I’ll add another as one that puts our industry in a bad light. That is the use of excessive force in the ring. We all certainly know you have to handle animals correctly and attitude adjustments at times are necessary, but never in the show ring. We never know who is watching or videoing and how they will interpret what we are doing with these animals.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
There are too many to pick just one. I’ll always lean towards those unique goats that put balance, structural correctness and muscle together in one package.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to continue my family farm. That didn’t work out, but I think I have the best alternative career as an ag teacher and it doesn’t have to rain to get a paycheck.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
I will not be singing one on stage, but I’ll sure sing along to just about anything from my seat.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I would say whitewater rafting would be the most daring thing I’ve ever done. I’m not a huge fan of water and not a particularly strong swimmer, but it was a lot of fun and I lived to tell about it.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
The one I use a lot with my sons when we are working animals and with my ag students when we are preparing for contests is, “Expect good things to happen and they will, expect bad things to happen and they will!”

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Costa Rica

Favorite Sports Team:
Texas Tech Red Raiders

Favorite Singer/Band:
Pat Green

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Yellowstone

Eric Zimmerman

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with 2022 Rodeo Austin Market Goat Show Judge, Eric Zimmerman, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I have been associated with the livestock industry my entire life. Growing up, I truly enjoyed going to our ranch in Mason and helping my grandmother with our commercial cattle operation. Throughout high school, I was involved in numerous livestock endeavors as well. These ranged from working at Kothmann’s Commission Company (lamb feedlot), to working for Mr. Buel Clark with his finewool club lamb business and Mr. Wayne Porter and his Angora Goat Operation. All of these opportunities were available to me while growing up in Menard, Texas.

Tell us about your career.
Following graduation from Texas A&M University, I began my career as an Assistant County Extension Agent in Tom Green County. In addition to my time there, I have served as an an agent in Brazos, Llano and Grimes Counties. I also spent 4.5 years in the private industry. Currently, I serve as the District 9 Extension Administrator for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in College Station, Texas.

What is your all-time favorite show?
Any Texas Major Show!

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
When young people don’t have fun! The last thing I always told my twins prior to entering ANY ring was to “Go Have Fun”!

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
That is a difficult question…I believe you have to answer that question in relation to the animal and time period in which they are exhibited. Champion goats in 2005 were exceptional when compared to their contemporaries in that time period. Those winning today are equally outstanding when compared to those they are competing against in the current show ring.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
Attorney

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
“Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
That’s a question that I will leave alone……

What is your favorite quote?
“Do the Right Thing” – Eric Zimmerman

Favorite Vacation Spot
Caribbean Islands

Favorite Sports Team
Texas A&M Aggies

Favorite Singer/Band
Def Leppard, .38 Special, George Strait

Favorite TV Show/Channel
SEC Network

Brent Titus

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Sioux Empire Market Goat Judge, Brent Titus, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I grew up on a horse farm. I joined FFA my freshman year of high school and my dads high school friends son was showing steers. We bought a couple show lambs and kept them at their house. I’m the true definition of a great FFA program can take you anywhere.

Tell us about your career.
I coached the freshman livestock judging team at LakeLand College for a few years and then decided I wanted to do something in the Agricultural Industry. For the past 15 years I have worked in the agricultural chemical sector. I am currently a Strategic Account Manager for UPL Ltd. A worldwide chemical manufacturer.

What is your all-time favorite show?
Oklahoma Youth Expo. I’ve heard San Antonio is great. I’ve just never been.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
Kids that shake their heads or make unpleasant faces when you place them.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
Oh. I’ve seen so many. One of Glen Martins girls won Louisville one year with one we were 2nd too. At the time he’s a true outlier. I thought this years Louisville Grand was pretty special.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
A track announcer at a horse track

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Probably Cross Canadian Ragweed, Boys From Oklahoma

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I’m not to daring. I went parasailing once. Does that count?

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
You got to be good enough to get lucky enough

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere with a beach and my bride

Favorite Singer/Band:
Micky and the Motorcars

Favorite Sports Team:
St. Louis Cardinals

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
1883 at the moment.

Mike Harbour

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with National Western Stock Show Market Goat Judge, Mike Harbour, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
When I was born my father was an ag teacher so I was basically born into the business.

Tell us about your career.
My family raised club lambs and kept a few sows. I mainly showed sheep but always fed a few barrows and a steer. Judged collegiately on both Jr and Sr college level. I was employed by the Texas Ag Extension Service as County Ag Agent for 8 1/2 years. Left that and ran an 18,000 acre ranch south of San Angelo Texas for 5 years. Left that and moved to central Texas and Started Harbour Livestock 19 years ago. We currently raise Show Goats, Club Lambs, Commercial Cattle and Whitetail And Fallow Deer with my wife Connie and two sons Tristan and Trey.

What is your all-time favorite show?
After Judging the Market Lambs at the North American Livestock Expo I was hooked. We have been back every year since.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
Exhibitors walking up to the judge to shake his hand while he is talking reasons on the class. I know up north it’s common, however, I find it very distracting. Reasons don’t take that long. Just stay put and you can all leave at once.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
I’m pretty fond of a few my boys have fed. Treys Houston Grand was a stud.  I’ve been in this business since 1992.  Goats have come a long way.  I remember selling wethers before the Boer Goats were in this country. So the best one I’ve ever seen is a tuff question.  

What did you want to be when you were younger?
Professional Team Roper or Raise Show Sheep for a living.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Raising show goats in sheep country before goat shows existed above the county show level, and thinking goat showing goats was going to be popular some day.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
Luck is Hard Work Residue

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jackson Hole WY

Favorite Singer/Band:
Casey Donahew

Favorite Sports Team:
Dallas Cowboys

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Outdoor Channel

Lane Halfmann

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with 2021 NAILE Market Goat Judge, Lane Halfmann, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been raised up with livestock around my entire life. It’s something that I continue to have a passion for and hopefully a passion I can transfer to my family

Tell us about your career.
Right out of college I had the opportunity to coach a livestock team at a small jr college in west Texas. Since then I’ve been working alongside my family raising cotton and a small show goat operation.

What is your all-time favorite show?
It would be hard for me to nail down an all time favorite. I enjoy all species of livestock and prefer different shows for different species.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
Not a huge fan of halters on show goats. I know every situation is different and sometimes it a last resort option. Most cases though, I think they do more harm than good.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
Hard to pick just one. Got a few favorites that stick in my brain.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Strawberry Wine.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Got married.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
“Don’t take criticism from anybody you wouldn’t take advice from” – Not sure who said it

Favorite Vacation Spot
Las Vegas

Favorite Sports Team:
College football is my favorite sport to watch

Brandon Morgan

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with 2021 American Royal Stock Show Judge, Brandon Morgan, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
My family has been involved various facets of the livestock industry for several generations.  I grew up in Holdenville, OK, showing primarily swine, but also exhibited cattle and sheep.  I also had a small herd of cows that were geared toward the club calf business.

Tell us about your career.
After graduating from Oklahoma State, I went to work for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  I had the opportunity to work in Ballinger, TX and Breckinridge, Tx.  

In 2001 I moved back to Oklahoma and became the Agriculture Education Instructor for Newcastle Public Schools.  During my 20 year tenure, I have had the opportunity to work with many successful students in the fields of showing livestock, public speaking and livestock judging.

What is your all-time favorite show?
Being from Oklahoma, it is very hard not to be biased towards OYE.  That staff has put together an event that showcases kids on a whole different level.  If you ever have the opportunity to watch the Grand Drive at OYE, you need to take advantage of it.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
I don’t have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to the show ring.  Probably my biggest is not being respectful.  I am as competitive as anyone else.  I expect a young person that has put their heart and soul into a project to be disappointed if they do not achieve the level of success they strived for.  I think it is important to be respectful in the ring, no matter the outcome.

What is the best goat you’ve ever seen?
That is a tough one!  There are several that come to mind that have been dominant at a particular show, but it is too hard to pick just one or I just don’t want to make someone mad.  

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS

What did you want to be when you were younger?
I thought I was going to be a lawyer.  I am pretty headstrong, and don’t mind a friendly discussion.  

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
I once sang “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie.  Never again!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I plead the 5th because I know my mother will read this.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
“It’s not the will to win that matters.  Everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”    
– Paul “Bear” Bryant

Favorite Vacation Spot:
SeaWorld

Favorite Singer/Band:
Guns and Roses

Favorite Sports Team:
Oklahoma State Cowboys

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Yellowstone

Skyler Scotten

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with State Fair of Texsas Market Goat Judge, Skyler Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of really unique ones in the last couple of years. Two that I thought were really special have to be the grand at OYE and grand at Dixie National. They were very very stout and built how I like them.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I just ask that all exhibitors to be nice to one another and to the volunteers helping with the show. Emotions are high at a livestock show, but let’s remember the real reason why we do what we do.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
My dad and brother Spencer. We’ve spent a lot of hours discussing livestock!

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
On the move. In the best classes I’ll make one last circle with the final 4 or 5. I watch them come at me and go away, that tells me what I usually need to see.

Tell us about your family!
My family is kind of all over the place right now; Dad and Mom are back home raising cattle and goats and mom still teaches school. My brother is the judging coach at Redlands community college and I’m currently at Texas Tech coaching and working on my PhD.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
It’s honestly amazing how far our industry has come in the last 10 years. The one thing that I’ve recognized is it has become a business more so than a hobby. Families have dedicated their lives to the show ring and junior livestock events. In the pursuit of success at a high level the price and quality has certainly increased as well.

What’s your occupation?
Livestock Judging Coach and PhD student focusing on Ruminant Nutrition and beef cow sustainability.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with National Western Stock Show Market Goat Judge, Skyler Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who has had the biggest impact on your judging career?
My dad and my brother.

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Consistent

What is your dream show to judge and why?
I’ll be honest, there are a lot of neat shows that I have done or would like to do. I take it as a huge honor to get asked to do any show and take them all very seriously with a high regard and respect to the exhibitors and the people behind the scenes.

Do you like to fly or drive to shows – and why?
Once I moved to west Texas I generally fly to about all of them now. Although, I do enjoy a good drive especially if I can stop and see some friends or look at livestock along the way.

Tell us about your family!
My family originated at the corner of 1800 road in Nevada, Missouri. We’re very proud of where we come from and the roots that we have at the ranch. We are a very tight knit family that focuses on livestock as a tool to create better young people. We currently raise cattle and goats that are marketed throughout the country. My brother and I are judging coaches so we are on the road constantly while mom and dad are holding the fort down at home.

What job do you currently have/what do your daily duties include?
I’m in a unique role at Texas Tech University where I am a PhD student and coach the livestock judging team. I’m living my dream and have the job I have worked for since I can remember. I don’t have much down time and my daily work life includes reading research articles, writing papers, studying and working with my team alongside Dr. Rathmann. It’s a busy life but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What is your biggest fear?
Being complacent with where I am and not advancing myself or other people around me to be better than we were the day before.

THIS OR THAT
Breeding Does vs Wether Dams
Wether Dams

Evaluating on the move or on the profile?
On the Move

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Aksarbarn Stock Show Judge, Skyler Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I was lucky to be born into the  industry and have been involved with raising livestock with my family for my entire life. My dad grew up in the sale barn business and transitioned into raising club calves in the late 90’s. We still raise a few goats and several cattle that are primarily marketed in the south.

Tell us about your career.
I attended Butler Community College and Kansas State University where I was a member of the livestock judging team at both schools. I’m currently working on a masters at Kansas State.

What is your all-time favorite show?
To be honest there’s no such thing as a bad stock show, however my favorite has to be the American Royal in Kansas City. That show is really close to my hometown and it’s been a special place for my family and I.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
I don’t necessarily have a “pet peeve” but I always appreciate and notice when exhibitors are nice to the other showman as well as the judge. It’s not hard to be nice and people always recognize a good attitude and upbeat mentality, that will get you a long ways in my opinion.

What is the best goat you’ve ever seen?
I may be biased but the champion goat at Missouri State Fair we had in 2019 has been my favorite to date. I thought his build and skeletal width were incredible and hard to replicate.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS

What did you want to be when you were younger?
A livestock judging coach.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Take me home, country roads by John Denver. That’s always my go to!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I try not to do many things out of the ordinary. However there was a good fishing spot that was forbidden to the public I found over the summer in Manhattan. It was a dam under construction and the fishing was incredible because no one was allowed back in there. I guess karma got me in the end and I got chased out of there about 2 am by a guy wearing a full fur coat in the middle of summer screaming at the top of his lungs. I don’t know how fast a guy can run with a tackle box and 3 fishing poles in hand but I might’ve set the land speed record that night. Talk about an adrenaline rush…..

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
“Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I’m lost.”

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Edinburgh, Scotland at the Royal Highland Show. If you ever get a chance to go, do it!

Favorite Singer/Band:
Morgan Wallen

Favorite Sports Team:
Kansas City Chiefs

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
MeatEater with Steven Rinella

Scott Greiner

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Iowa State Fair 4-H Goat Judge, Scott Greiner, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
My parents got my siblings and I involved in 4-H as soon as we were old enough, so you might say I have been involved my entire life. While my parents did not show, they saw the value in youth livestock programs and got us involved at a young age.

Where did you grow up? 
I grew up outside Oxford, Iowa on a sheep operation. My relatives also raised hogs, so spent fair amount of time in a swine unit growing up!

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
Yes, by siblings and I showed sheep. We were fortunate to do very well at throughout the Midwest and the Iowa State Fair, and also showed at the American Royal every fall. Keep in mind I showed long before we ever thought about showing market goats!

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
I have been honored to get to judge many great shows over the years of multiple species, and narrowing it down to one favorite is a challenge. There have been many of them that for their day I thought approached the ideal in terms of putting together all the pieces we looked for. To the credit of breeders and exhibitors, the stock just continues to get better!

THIS OR THAT

Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

V Show/Channel:

ESPN

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with NAILE Junior Market Goat Judge, Scott Greiner, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I am a native of Oxford, Iowa- a small town in east central Iowa where I was raised on our family livestock operation. Growing up I was active in 4H livestock projects including sheep, livestock judging, and public speaking.  My siblings and I showed market lambs and commercial ewe lambs very successfully. 

I attended Iowa State and earned a B.S. in Animal Science.  My advanced degrees include an M.S. from Michigan State and Ph.D. from Iowa State in Animal Science. My wife Lori and I have two daughters, Kaylee and Leah, ages 20 and 17. We have a club lamb operation, and the girls have been very active in junior livestock program and show lambs, goats, and pigs; and compete in judging and skillathon. I am one of the leaders for our local 4H livestock club. So I have been involved in the livestock industry my entire life.

Tell us about your career.
After completion of my graduate degrees, I came to Virginia Tech where I have been since 1998. I am a Professor of Animal Science and have a primary extension appointment with both beef cattle and sheep responsibilities. My primary areas of interest include applied genetics, carcass composition, and animal management. I work closely with our livestock producers and industry, and provide education related to these topics, as well as conduct applied research to answer relevant questions.

I also teach an advanced livestock management class, and advise students. I am very fortunate that my position allows me the opportunity to judge junior livestock shows across the country, and give back to program that has been so important to me as well as my family.

What is your all-time favorite show?
From a showman’s perspective, for me this would be the Iowa State Fair. Growing up in Iowa and having the opportunity to participate in the great Iowa State Fair was something we all looked forward to as 4-Hers. Of course that was a long time ago! Having the chance to go back and judge there I have to admit has been very special to me.

However, picking a favorite among the many national, state, and regional fairs I have had the opportunity to judge is nearly impossible. Each of them is unique in their own way. I am very honored to have had the chance over the years to get to play a small role in the experience for many young people across the country. Have established great relationships with may people as a result, and more importantly had the opportunity to have a favorable impact on lives of many young people as well.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
Ring awareness and eye contact are very important showmanship attributes. Exhibitors should be aware of how the show is being conducted, movement of animals, etc. by watching the show prior to entering the ring. Too much reliance on sideline coaches that distract from presentation of the animal and conduct of the show also can be frustrating.

Slapping animals in any fashion has absolutely no place. We all need to remember that we are representing production agriculture to the public through our actions and how we conduct ourselves. Providing a positive and accurate image of animal care is very important.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
Like the favorite show question, I am not sure I can give a single answer to this. I will say that there are lots of great livestock out there. In my opinion, what has really changed over the last decade is the depth of quality that we see at nearly every level of competition. Judging the majors and national shows, given the size and prestige of these events we expect the quality to be outstanding, which it is. What makes it really fun is when you see similar caliber livestock at a county fair or local show. Great livestock, managed and shown by great young people and their families can be found everywhere! That is the awesome thing about the program and reason we all do this- great livestock are simply a vehicle to make great kids!


A FEW FUN QUESTIONS

What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. We used to go the sale barn weekly with my Dad in summer to buy feeder lambs, and my brother and I would work cattle with the local vet at the barn. So when I went to Iowa State that was my goal. Organic chemistry and couple other classes my sophomore year, however, resulted in a change in that career path!

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
For the benefit of everyone, I will not be singing! You might catch me humming some George Strait or 80s rock, but that’s about as close as I will get to Karaoke.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
We have this one posted in our show barn: “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Any place to get away with my wife and girls!

Favorite Singer/Band:
George Strait

Favorite Sports Team:
Virgina Tech Hokies, Iowa State Cyclones, Michigan State Spartans

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
ESPN

Bill Disberger

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Sioux Empire Market Goat Judge Bill Disberger to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING” in chilly Sioux Falls, SD this week!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I was lucky enough to grow up on a diversified crop and livestock operation and my parents allowed me to start showing in 4-H. Along with that experience I had a progressive 4-H livestock extension agent that kept me on the path of improving both my evaluation and production skills.

Tell us about your career.
After judging competitively through 4-H and FFA I had the opportunity to follow the judging path to Butler Community College and Kansas State University where I majored in Animal Science and Ag Education. I then landed a job at Hutchinson Community College and was the judging coach and instructor there for 10 years.  From there I moved back to Manhattan and took a recruitment position at Kansas State and currently now I am a full time realtor, broker and auction coordinator with Crossroads Real Estate and Auction.  During this whole time I was raising club lambs both individually and now with my wife Brandie and my two boys Brigham and Brock.

What is your all-time favorite show?
This question is harder for me than it should be.  As a judge and coach I have got to see every major in person in some format, multiple state shows and numerous county fairs.  Most have had special moments for me in some manner due to people I met and experiences had at each.  But probably for me personally has to be the National Western due to the combination of real world livestock and the show ring.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
This one is easy.  When it comes to being a good showman it should be about making the animal you are showing look as good as possible not about making it about the showman. Using exaggerated body language as a showman can take away from the animal’s appearance and distract from what the goal should be.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
I knew I would get asked this question for this write up.  That is almost impossible to answer as I have judged a lot of good ones and seen even more great ones.  Especially if I consider the difference in prospects, breeding females and bucks and I have sorted through.  But best ones I have seen have been bucks and donors for breeders.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
First I wanted to be a lawyer when I was really young.  But once I got bit by the livestock bug I wanted to be a college judging coach.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
None…no one wants me to ruin any song like that!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Giving up a solid career at K-State to start in the real estate business.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
“The hardest thing to do is to work hard when no one is watching.”

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hawaii

Favorite Sports Team:
Kansas State Wildcats

Favorite Singer/Band:
Green Day

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Last Man Standing/Big Bang

Barrett Carlisle

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Missouri State Fair Market Goat Judge, Barrett Carlisle, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I try not to be too “prisoner of the moment”, but the goat I got to use last March at Rodeo Austin is my favorite. He stuck out like a sore thumb to me that day, and was presented absolutely on the money.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Showman with bad attitudes and bad presentation! Especially goats with too much glue, or ones that leave behind a trail of twine in their wake as they move around the ring.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Having judging coaches that are legendary, like Chris Mullinix and Dr. Scott Schaake, helped shape my formative years of breaking down livestock and emphasizing skeletal quality. As far as somebody I have always admired watching while they were in the sheep ring, Kyle Smithwick would have to be high on the list.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
Definitely in motion! Especially when the showmanship is on point.

Tell us about your family!
My wife Jara is smarter than all of us and the best hand in the lambing barn you’ll ever find. And a hand with some sheep shears.  
My parents couldn’t be more supportive of all of us if we wanted them to be. There is no question who our biggest cheerleaders are.
Cooper and Jenna are taking on more responsibilities with Diamond C and it has been a big help!

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
The top end is more elite than it has ever been! And without a doubt, more expensive! There may be less total participants than before, but there are more people on their A game that can get it done!

What’s your occupation?
I am a Territory Business Manager for Zoetis, where I call on veterinarians and cattle producers in northeast Kansas.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Antonio Junior Boer Goat Judge, Barrett Carlisle, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I am sure my experience is like a lot of people’s who end up in this “industry”. I was very fortunate to have parents that felt it was important that I grow up learning the responsibilities and life skills that showing livestock teaches young people. I started out with a couple of show sheep that were not particularly good but taught me the passion and dedication that the project requires. From there, two show sheep turned into 100s of show sheep, plus a handful of show goats every year, and then we acquired a group of 10 ewe lambs to breed for a record book project. We still raise show sheep as a family, and all the skills I learned along the way have allowed me to be successful at my career within the greater livestock industry as a pharmaceutical rep.

Tell us about your career.
I am currently a Territory Business Manager for Zoetis within the cattle division. I spend my time calling on veterinarians, as well as backgrounder, feedlot, and cow/calf producers.

What is your all-time favorite show?
It is hard to narrow that down to just one. I do not get to attend very often because it falls during heavy lambing season, but I enjoy Denver/the National Western a lot. You can find some of the best market and breeding livestock of all species there within a short period of time.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
Overly fit on livestock and exhibitors with bad attitudes. Mainly the second one.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
Perhaps the best lineup I have ever seen might have been at the American Royal this last year. The best one I have ever used is probably the goat of Cooper Bounds’ that I selected as Grand at NAILE. I had never seen a big goat that fresh handling and youthful in his build.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS

What did you want to be when you were younger?
I will still just about pullover my vehicle to watch a crop duster in action. I think it would be cool to pilot one of those things.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
The odds of me landing on the moon are higher than me landing on a karaoke stage…

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
When you are 18 years old, moving 8 hours away from home, and everything that was ever comfortable to you, seems fairly daring at the time.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
“That’s the way she goes…the way she goes”- Unknown

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere without large crowds and too much humidity.

Favorite Singer/Band:
Probably George Strait

Favorite Sports Team:
I love sports, but I am not overly invested in one particular team… seems to save me the anguish most people endure with “their” teams of choice.

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Channel- ESPN. Show- I didn’t know they made any shows other than The Office.

Kurt Henry

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Fort Worth Stock Show Judge, Kurt Henry, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING” at Cowtown!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
My family raised cattle and I showed steers and pigs growing up in 4-H and FFA.

Tell us about your career.
I have been an agricultural science teacher for about 25 years.  My family is still involved in production agriculture.

What is your all-time favorite show?
Houston is probably my favorite, but I love all the Texas Majors.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve in the ring is exhibitors who quit showing.  I teach my students to show the entire time you are in the ring.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
There have been several favorites.  It seems like each year I have a favorite and then another one comes along and becomes my new favorite.  That is the beauty in breeding livestock.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I wanted to be a veterinarian.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Any 80’s music

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I am pretty tame, but maybe disagreeing with my wife.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Watching my kids stock show or play baseball.

Favorite Sports Team:
Houston Astros

Favorite Singer/Band:
80’s Music

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Seinfeld or Westerns

Brent Jennings

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Exposition for the Youth of Oklahoma Junior Breeding & Market Goat Judge, Brent Jennings, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
The champion wether at San Antonio in 2022 was one that left a lasting impression.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Bad attitudes. Just remember you can do 99 things right, but make 1 mistake and everyone will remember that.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Several close friends that have helped to mold my opinion of what quality livestock look like over the years.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
I love to watch good livestock in motion.

Tell us about your family!
My wife Allison and I have been married for almost 17 years.  She currently works for NC FFA as a regional coordinator.  We have 2 sons Zade who is 12 and Carter who is 7.  Zade is my responsible well mannered child, who will talk your ear off about anything.  Carter….. well let’s just say he has a strong dose of the youngest child syndrome. Both boys enjoy showing sheep and goats.  We also spend a tremendous amount of time at sporting events.  Both boys really enjoy playing baseball.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
The livestock just keep getting better!

What’s your occupation?
I am Extension Associate at North Carolina State University and coordinate the Youth Livestock Program.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with NAILE Market Goat Judge, Brent Jennings, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who has had the biggest impact on your judging career?
There have been lots of people that have had a major impact on my views of livestock. I was extremely fortunate to have a great coach in Chris Mullinix who taught me to truly understandable the fundamentals of quality livestock. Specifically, in regards to goat evaluation, I have several close friends who I like to have discussions in regards to what the great ones should look like. I also enjoy watching a listening to other judges and their view points.

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Blessed!  

Do you like to fly or drive to shows – and why?
Drive, but living in NC this is not always a realistic option.  Several reasons I prefer to drive. 1 Who in their right mind ever said airports were fun. 2 Planes are not made for someone over 6 ft tall. 3 I am claustrophobic.

Tell us about your family!
My wife Allison is a NC FFA regional coordinator.  She spent twelve years teaching high school ag before this venture. We have 2 boys, Zade who is 11 and Carter who is 6. I think every family’s kids are different and my boys are no exception to the rule.  Both of them enjoy showing sheep, goats, and pigs.  Additionally, both really enjoy playing baseball.  Zade is the detail oriented, competitive, and focused one that tries extremely hard to excel in everything that he does.  Carter is the let’s have a good time and heck with everything else.  I am fairly certain the good lord is going to pay me back for some things I did in my younger years through Carter. 

What job do you currently have/what do your daily duties include?
Serve as Extension Associate, 4-H Youth Livestock Specialist at NC State University. Work with agents, ag teachers, volunteer leaders, and youth who have a strong desire for the livestock program. I coordinate state-wide events such as livestock judging, skillathon, quiz bowl, leadership institutes, shows, etc… My wife was an Ag Teacher for 12 years, and now serves as the Eastern Region Coordinator for NC FFA. We spend a tremendous amount of our lives supporting the programs that have given so much to us. Additionally, my family has a small flock of crossbred ewes and my youngest son has a couple of does.

What is your biggest fear?
There is always a fear of what my youngest son might say or do at any point in time, especially telling his jokes.  

Ultimately, I want to make certain I am raising good kids that will be good people.  Just like every parent I want my kids to be happy and successful at life!

THIS OR THAT
Breeding Does vs Wether Dams
Wether Dams

Evaluating on the move or on the profile?
On the Move

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with 2022 San Antonio Stock Show Market Judge, Brent Jennings, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What is your occupation?
Serve as Extension Associate, 4-H Youth Livestock Specialist at NC State University. Work with agents, ag teachers, volunteer leaders, and youth who have a strong desire for the livestock program. I coordinate state-wide events such as livestock judging, skillathon, quiz bowl, leadership institutes, shows, etc… My wife was an Ag Teacher for 12 years, and now serves as the Eastern Region Coordinator for NC FFA. We spend a tremendous amount of our lives supporting the programs that have given so much to us. Additionally, my family has a small flock of crossbred ewes and my youngest son has a couple of does.

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
Like many others, I am a product of the 4-H and FFA program.  My mom was a high school science teacher and had a student that showed livestock and got me a lamb when I was in kindergarten.  The rest was history, my family and I have not looked back and have been active in the Livestock Industry ever since.

What is your favorite show you’ve ever judged?
I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to judge livestock shows, and with that many of the smaller county shows have had as much of an impact on me as the larger ones. However, I will admit when you get to those larger shows and have a class of 4 or 5 truly special ones that leaves a lasting impact.

What is your favorite thing about livestock judging?
The opportunity to give back. While understanding that these youth have put in countless hours to get to the show so giving everyone a fair look is extremely important. Finding the ones that are the most unique to me.

What is your initial sort when evaluating market goats?
I am big on first impressions, so skeletal quality and balance rank pretty high.  Then the ones that have the extra body shape and muscle get along really well. Some might say you are looking for a Unicorn, but I think Norman Kohls put it best when describing a Polar Bear.

What person/people influenced or helped to shape your view on what an ideal goat should possess?
There have been lots of people that have had a major impact on my views of livestock. I was extremely fortunate to have a great coach in Chris Mullinix who taught me to truly understandable the fundamentals of quality livestock. Specifically, in regards to goat evaluation, I have several close friends who I like to have discussions in regards to what the great ones should look like. I also enjoy watching a listening to other judges and their view points.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
Favorite Food/Restaurant:
This one is easy, Mike Anderson’s in Gonzales LA.
I would judge a hamster show in Louisiana just for the food.  

Bucket List Place to Travel:
Anywhere with my Family!

What is one thing people might not know about you?
I am terrified of Elevators!!  My family and I got stuck on one when I was a little child and that has never left me.  I would rather walk up 20 flights of stairs than go up an elevator.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Angelo Stock Show Market Judge, Brent Jennings, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
Like many others, I am a product of the 4-H and FFA program.  My mom was a high school science teacher and had a student that showed livestock and got me a lamb when I was in kindergarten.  The rest was history, my family and I have not looked back and have been active in the Livestock Industry ever since.

Tell us about your career.
Serve as Extension Associate, 4-H Youth Livestock Specialist at NC State University. Work with agents, ag teachers, volunteer leaders, and youth who have a strong desire for the livestock program. I coordinate state-wide events such as livestock judging, skillathon, quiz bowl, leadership institutes, shows, etc… My wife was an Ag Teacher for 12 years, and now serves as the Eastern Region Coordinator for NC FFA. We spend a tremendous amount of our lives supporting the programs that have given so much to us. Additionally, my family has a small flock of crossbred ewes.

What is your all-time favorite show?
North Carolina State Fair, as crazy as that sounds to many I have so many fond memories as a child participating.  It is even more special watching my boys participate now. 

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
No question, everyone wants to win I get it, but being ungrateful or disrespectful can be challenging to watch.  Don’t forget we are ultimately making the next generation of advocates for the livestock industry and everyone is watching.  

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
That is a hard one, I have seen several that I thought were very unique over the years. As a judge the one I used to win Indiana State Fair a few years back hit me awfully hard.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
From the beginning I wanted to be a County Agent.  

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Once many years ago at a college function, I believe I sang A Country Boy Can Survive by Hank Williams Jr.  For Christmas my brother gave my boys a karaoke machine.  I use to think we were friends.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Growing up in Eastern North Carolina, I thoroughly enjoyed hunting and in particular raccoon hunting. I am not sure if you would call it being young, being tough, being daring, or just being ignorant but I did a few things I am just happy to have lived through. Not sure I could keep up with Jerry Clower but I do have a few good stories for another time.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Jim Valvano

“I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.” Lou Holtz

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere with my Family!

Favorite Sports Team:
NC State University. Go Wolfpack!

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Young Sheldon or The Big Bang Theory

Chase McPhaul

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Angelo Stock Show Wether Doe Judge, Chase McPhaul, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I grew up in Big Lake, Texas where my family owned a club lamb operation, having around 300 head of club lamb ewes.  My passion for the industry continued to develop through being an active member in the Reagan County 4-H and FFA program.

Tell us about your career.
 am currently the County Extension Agent in Reagan County specializing in Ag and Natural Resources.

What is your all-time favorite show?
The Houston Stock Show

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
I would have to say it would be having the show held up due to exhibitors not getting there on time.  

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
I would have to say that it would be the Grand Champion Goat from the CowPalace Show that I judged in California this year!  Although the goat is little, it has a bunch of future ahead of it.  

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A Texas Tech football player.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
I’m a terrible singer so lets just say I would be helping everyone out by not singing at karaoke night!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Taking over my family’s club lamb operation with my business partner.  Very daring and challenging at times.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
“You’re never a loser til you quit trying”  -Mike Ditka

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Wrigley Field, watching a Cubs Game. That’s pretty hard to beat.

Favorite Sports Team:
Any Texas Tech Athletic Team.

Favorite Singer/Band:
I don’t listen to music very often but I do love listening to Colin Cowherd and Joy Taylor on talk radio.

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
The Blacklist

Kevin Mock

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with National Western Market Judge, Kevin Mock to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING” at Denver!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I was raised on a small farm in Kyle, TX where we raised show pigs and show goats with minimal success past the county show level. My parents involved us in 4-H to teach responsibility and the value of production agriculture.

Tell us about your career.
My wife Megan and our family owns and operates Mock Livestock, a competitive show goat production and marketing business. We also co-own and manage M-B Genetics, a 50 sow show pig operation and boar stud. In 2017 we stepped out of the full time livestock show industry and currently serve as the Chief Operating Officer of M5 Utilities LLC in Boerne, TX.

What is your all-time favorite show?
Houston is the most prestigious show to win in my opinion. The atmosphere and facilities are second to none. San Antonio is the toughest one to win.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
One of the values of this “sport” is teaching kids respect and values. I have little patience for kids with a bad or entitled attitude.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
Easy! Grant Read’s 2012 Grand @ Fort Worth.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A stock show guy. I wasn’t very good at it, but it’s all I wanted to do.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Im passing!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Decided to be a full time stock show guy. We used our wedding loan to buy a buck & donor and never looked back.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
“Winning is a mindset. It’s not what you want, it’s what you’re willing to sacrifice to get it!” – Nick Saban

“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living!” -Augustus McCrae

Favorite Vacation Spot:
Fishing

Favorite Sports Team:
My kids’ team. Whatever they’re doing.

Favorite Singer/Band:
Anything while I’m fishing.

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
Elite Redfish Series, IFA Redfish Series, Yellowstone

Catherine Riley

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Wisconsin State Fair and Indiana State Fair Goat Judge, Catherine Riley, to ask her a few questions before she steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
I haven’t found a favorite yet, hopefully I’ll find him at IN this year lol

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
Inside the ring- picking goats off the ground while I’m handling them. Most of the time it makes them handle worse through their loin.
Outside the ring- coaching during showmanship. During the show I get it but showmanship should be all on the kid in the ring.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Hard to pick one. I like listening to everyone describe animals and it’s interesting to hear the differences in priorities and the different traits that get a judge excited.
If you put me on the spot the most influential person would be Glen Martin, judging with him at the JABGA national show was one of the best judging experiences I’ve had to date.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
In motion for sure. Structure and bone work are a high priority for me. The best animals know they are special and you should be able to see that when they step in the ring.

Tell us about your family!
My mom and I co-own Eclipse Livestock together. We are very similar and so that makes it a challenge some days but worth it in the end. There are many friends who are considered family as well. My best friend is the best brother I could have, many a mile in the truck together and he’s one I could call and he’s there thick or thin. That’s the best kind of family to have

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
Oh wow! So so much has changed for goats in the last 10 years. We have improved this animals in mind blowing ways. From just their foundation to their muscle pattern and overall balance and look everything has improved. I know as a breeder that is what we all strive for to make them better with every generation.

What’s your occupation?
Co-owner and manager of Eclipse Livestock as well as show stock consultant for multiple operations

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with National Western Showmanship Judge, Catherine Riley to ask her a few questions before she steps “INSIDE THE RING” at Denver!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
I grew up in the industry. My mom was our 4-H agent so youth development programs were automatic. My sister and I started showing lambs when we were around 3 years old.

Tell us about your career.
I manage the North American International Livestock Exposition. So prior to the time of entry until all the premium checks are sent out, my staff and I handle everything.

What is your all-time favorite show?
I guess I have to say NAILE right?? Which is very true, but my favorite show to attend is Denver. I love the history of the grounds and how the city really gets behind the show, which is something I’d love to have for NAILE.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
I have 2. First one would be slapping your animal. I tend to see this more in lambs than goats right now but it’s present in both. Second would be coaching from the sidelines especially during showmanship. At the point that the exhibitor is in the ring you as a coach have done your job and everything is in that exhibitors hands.

What’s the best goat you’ve ever seen?
This year at Kansas City. Sayde Allen’s division 2 champion. I have multiple videos of that guy from the makeup ring to the grand drive. I think that is one that I am striving towards making.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A horse trainer. My undergrad degree is Equine Business. So I held on to that for a long while.

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
Hell on Heels by Pistol Annies. *only if Mallory and Caitlin from my college judging team are with me.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Moved to CO to live in Rocky Mountian National Park to give Horseback tours.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
A goal is just a dream if you don’t work towards it.

Favorite Vacation Spot:
PNW (Pacific Northwest). I love Oregon and Washington and take any excuse to go!

Favorite Sports Team:
C-A-T-S. University of Kentucky Basketball

Favorite Singer/Band:
Kasey Musgraves

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
West Wing (oldie but goodie)

Spencer Scotten

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Kansas State Fair Breeding and Market Goat Judge, Spencer Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
There’s been a lot of them that have been really good but I’d say the one that won Houston this time would be up there.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I’d say anytime a showman is rude to another showman or the ring staff. That’s a real quick way to lose a lot of respect from me.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Definitely my dad. We always did everything in the barn together and I got to learn from him raising livestock and that’s been the best influence I’ve had.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
I like to see them in motion best. The best built ones look just as good in motion as they do standing still.

Tell us about your family!
My family is spread out currently but my Mom and Dad are back home in Missouri where we have all of our cattle and goats. My brother coaches the livestock judging team at Texas Tech and my girlfriend, Macey, and I are currently in El Reno, OK, where we both work at Redlands Community College and coach the livestock judging team there.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
There’s no doubt the goat industry has evolved the most over the last 10 years compared to the other species. Every aspect of the game has gotten a lot tougher. The livestock has made big improvements and so has the daily care, fitting and showmanship. If you don’t have a real good one that’s presented right they won’t get along near as well compared to 10 years ago.

What’s your occupation?
I am the livestock judging team coach at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma and also raise cattle and goats on the side.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Ohio State Fair Junior Goat Judge, Spencer Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

What’s been your all time favorite goat you have judged?
There’s been a lot of them that have been really good but I’d say the one that won Houston this time would be up there.

What’s your biggest pet peeve while judging?
I’d say anytime a showman is rude to another showman or the ring staff. That’s a real quick way to lose a lot of respect from me.

Who’s your biggest influence in evaluating livestock?
Definitely my dad. We always did everything in the barn together and I got to learn from him raising livestock and that’s been the best influence I’ve had.

Do you prefer to evaluate when goats are in motion or stuck on profile?
I like to see them in motion best. The best built ones look just as good in motion as they do standing still.

Tell us about your family!
My family is spread out currently but my Mom and Dad are back home in Missouri where we have all of our cattle and goats. My brother coaches the livestock judging team at Texas Tech and my girlfriend, Macey, and I are currently in El Reno, OK, where we both work at Redlands Community College and coach the livestock judging team there.

In your mind, how has the industry changed in the show ring over the last 10 years?
There’s no doubt the goat industry has evolved the most over the last 10 years compared to the other species. Every aspect of the game has gotten a lot tougher. The livestock has made big improvements and so has the daily care, fitting and showmanship. If you don’t have a real good one that’s presented right they won’t get along near as well compared to 10 years ago.

What’s your occupation?
I am the livestock judging team coach at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma and also raise cattle and goats on the side.

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with Arkansas Youth Expo Market Goat Judge, Spencer Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

Who got you involved in the industry and how?
Growing up my family raised show cattle so through my family I got involved in the industry and currently we still are involved as a family raising cattle and goats.

Where did you grow up? 
Nevada, Missouri

Did you show livestock growing up? If so, what species?
I grew up showing sheep and pigs. When I started showing, goats weren’t really an option until I got into high school and we started showing them as well.

Do you have a favorite animal that you have ever judged? if so, what was it?
There’s not just one favorite. There’s been a lot of awesome animals I’ve gotten to judge so it would be hard to just pick one..

THIS OR THAT
Judging with Music on vs Judging in Silence
Music

Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Wethers

Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
Nationals

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Antonio Wether Doe Judge, Spencer Scotten, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
Before I was even born my family owned the sale barn where I grew up and always ran cattle so that was my start in the livestock industry. Since we raised and sold show cattle it worked out better for me to show pigs and sheep, so that’s what I started with. When I started showing, goats hadn’t worked their way up north yet so it wasn’t until high school that I ever showed one. My brother and I enjoyed showing goats and so we started raising them and currently have around 30 does. After high school I attended Butler Community College and Kansas State University where I was on the livestock judging teams at both places.

Tell us about your career.
I am currently the livestock judging team coach at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Oklahoma.

What is your all-time favorite show?
I enjoy just about any stock show but my two all-time favorites are Missouri State Fair and the American Royal.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
There’s not much that bothers me too bad but something that really sticks out in the show ring to me is a showman has the hide and hair well maintained on their animal. It’s amazing how much better a first impression on a judge can be when the presentation is 100%.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
No doubt it’s going to be Garth Brooks-Friends in Low Places.

FAVORITES

Favorite Quote:
How you do one thing is how you do everything.

Favorite Singer/Band:
Whiskey Myers

Favorite Sports Team:
Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
TV Show-Justified

Charles Seely

Spencer Scotten

We caught up with San Angelo Stock Show Junior Boer Goat Judge, Charles Seely, to ask him a few questions before he steps “INSIDE THE RING”!

How did you get started in the livestock industry?
My start in the livestock industry came from my father, who was passionate about the swine industry and raised show pigs throughout the 80’s and 90’s. From this endeavor, he instilled into my siblings and I the importance of livestock that were not only high quality, but functional as well.

My first show animal was a duroc gilt that I showed at the HLSR Open Breeding Gilt Show when I was 7. Like many others, I am a product of the 4-H and FFA programs. During my youth livestock career, I was fortunate to have experienced exhibiting multiple species of livestock including hogs, chickens, cattle, sheep and goats.

Tell us about your career.
I currently work in the loan department at Citizens State Bank in the thriving metropolis of Somerville, TX. Before going into banking, I spent nine years as a County Extension Agent for 4-H & Youth Development.

I spent countless hours mentoring young people through livestock projects, coached livestock judging and quiz bowl teams, and offered educational opportunities for 4-H members and their families.

What is your all-time favorite show?
Growing up in the Southeast Texas area, there has always been something special about the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The green shavings, the bright lights, and the top notch facilities all make it a very special event.

What is your biggest show ring pet peeve?
As a judge, my biggest pet peeve would have to be holding the show up to wait on exhibitors that are late getting to the ring.

A FEW FUN QUESTIONS
What did you want to be when you were younger?
Ag Teacher

It’s Karaoke Night… What song are you singing?
“California Love” by Tupac or “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.

FAVORITES
Favorite Quote:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Teddy Roosevelt

Favorite Vacation Spot:
My vacations usually have a stock show involved somehow.

Favorite Sports Team:
Houston Astros, Texans and Rockets

Favorite Singer/Band:
Randy Rogers Band

Favorite TV Show/Channel:
ESPN