Wool judging heads to Houston for finals
First win for the team since 2011
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 17:02
ASU’s wool judging team took San Antonio by storm when they won first and third place at the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo Collegiate Wool Contest on Feb. 9.
“San Antonio was a big confidence booster for both myself and the kids,” wool judging team coach and graduate student Craig Leonard said. “They worked hard and it was rewarding. If we prepare the same way—and stay committed—I feel that we will be equally as competitive in Houston.”
ASU’S Blue Team took third with 2,227 points, but the major victory of first went to ASU’s Gold Team with 2,251 points. Other competitors included Texas A&M, Mexico State, and Kansas State. All the competitors were from Division I universities.
In individual events, ASU’s Katie Smith placed second with 756 points.
“It was a great feeling of accomplishment,” Smith said. “I had never won a wool judging contest before San Antonio. I was proud for our team but I was even prouder for our coaches, Craig [Leonard] and Sharla [Schmidt].”
Other individual winners include Tait Cooper, Kelsie Schmidt, Kyle Burris and Bryce Patton.
The events in the contest are divided into three parts—grading, placing and oral reasons.
“Grading is where they judge the individual fleeces,” Leonard said. “They evaluate micron diameter, yield, staple length, character and purity. Placing is where there are six classes and the contestants have to sort the classes based on profitability and breed character. Oral reasons are where the contestant must defend their decision in a two minute speech about why the class was placed.”
The last time ASU won a wool judging contest was in 2011. Contestants are only allowed to judge wool once a year at the collegiate level with 2013 being the student’s first time ever to judge.
“Another part of the contest is livestock and meat,” Director of Agriculture Michael Salisbury said. “These will have a big impact on the agricultural business. They are a vital part in the learning process of students that plan to pursue a career in the industry. Additionally, these contests teach skills that are not taught in a classroom. They have to take information they have learned and make a decision within a few minutes.”
The wool judging team will go on to the finals in the National Championship Contest in March at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo contest, which will take place during spring break.