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.