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Meats and Livestock teams rank high, hoping for more success

Teams look forward to another good year

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 15:01

ASU’s Meats Judging Team ranked in the top five nationally at the end of 2012.

The Meats Judging Team finished in the top ten at all seven of the contests they entered, including five top-five finishes and a first-place victory.

The Livestock Judging Team took second place overall at the annual Arizona National Livestock Judging Contest held Dec. 29-31 in Phoenix, Ariz.

The Livestock Judging Team finished second in Sheep Judging and third in the Beef Judging, Swine Judging, and Reasons categories, according to a press release.

What makes the teams’ accomplishments even more impressive is the fact they competed exclusively against teams from Division I universities, such as Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

Associate Professor of Animal Science Dr. Kirk Braden says the teams do not worry about the fact they are Division II.

“The contests are more about the other elements they get, whether it is team work, public speaking skills, networking, time management, or a competitive edge,” Braden said. “We’re definitely improving every year and we have a goal in mind to win contests.”

Senior Agriculture Science and Leadership major, Sondra Lohse, who has been a part of the program for the past three years, has judged wool, livestock, and meats and says it’s a lot of hard work, but she absolutely loves it.

“You put in a lot of hours to get to where you want to be,” Lohse said. “After going through these programs, you really learn to communicate with people and learn how to manage your time and school work.”

The program has between 45 to 55 students and those students can compete on either of the three teams.

Braden says these students are the face of ASU at the contests and, they broadcast ASU’s name across the country.

“In the past, there’s been a couple of years where we haven’t had a team because it was difficult to get enough students involved,” Braden said, “but we’re getting to the point to where we are growing.”

Braden says all of the teams work together in solving problems and making sure that everything comes together.

“I would personally regret not being a part of these teams because of how much that I’ve benefitted from it,” Lohse said. “I know that in the future getting a job or continuing my master’s degree that I’m going to have benefits from the judging team.”

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