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
Judging Does or Judging Wethers
Judging State Fairs or Judging National Shows
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.