National Bison Association 2018 Jr. Judging Contest Winners Announced

Winners Hail from Colorado, Kansas, Texas, South Dakota

DENVER—Young people ages 8 to 21 competed Jan.17, for $3,600 in individual scholarships, plaques and bragging rights at the National Bison Association’s (NBA) Tenth Annual Junior Judging Contest. 

Taking top honors and a $1,500 scholarship provided by the National Buffalo Foundation was Cassidy Wallace, Canyon, Tex., a student at West Texas A & M and a member of the college’s herdsman program. Her score was 226 points.  Wallace also was a member of the second-place team.

Placing second in individual standings with 223 points was Aubry Hensley, a member of Blanchard FFA in Blanchard, Okla. She receives a $1,200 scholarship, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Buffalo Association. Placing third with 220 points and a $900 scholarship from Rocky Mountain Natural Meats, was Stephanie Connelly, from Northeastern Jr. College, Sterling, Colo. Connelly also was a member of the first-place team.

The first place-team with a total score of 644 was from Northeastern Jr. College, and team members included Connelly as well as Kylie Poole and Tiffaney Connelly. The second-place team, scoring a total of 668.5 points was from West Texas A & M and included Wallace as well as Madison Looney, Paul Salado and Laura Corder. In third place as a team was Brewster FFA, Brewster, Kan., with a total team score of 613. Team members included Austin Bear, Samantha Cozza, Colten Palmer and Ryan Hause.

Top placers in the 13 and younger division were Taber Cammack, Stoneville, S.D., first; Gunner Klingler, Kamas, Utah, second; and Grace Klingler, also from Kamas, Utah, third.

 “The judging ability and quality of reasons continues to develop as this national contest grows,” said Dave Carter, NBA executive director.  “The growing interest also is a reflection of the increased attention by producers and potential producers in raising bison as a career.”

The NBA’s Junior Judging program is based on criteria used in 4-H and FFA livestock judging contests.  The bison judging program was started by NBA member and Stratford, Okla., veterinarian Dr. Gerald Parsons.  He is the administrator of the NBA’s National Jr. Judging Contest.

“The level of interest and the quality of junior judges in this contest bodes well for the continued growth of the U.S. bison industry,” Parsons said.  “We are glad to see young people interested in this business and learning about bison.”

The contest was held at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Denver, Colo., in conjunction with the 2018 NBA Gold Trophy Show & Sale.  Contestants judged four classes: yearling heifers, bull calves, two-year-old breeding bulls and heifer calves, and gave reasons on the two-year-old breeding bull class.  Each animal class and the reasons class had a total possible point value of 50, making 250 total points a perfect score. Team scores are calculated using the top three individual scores.

The NBA offers a junior membership, which provides young people 21 and younger with the same benefits as its producer members, but for a discounted rate of $50 annually.