Rio Blanco County 4-H team finishes season strong

The Rio Blanco 4-H senior team concluded their season at the 73rd annual Colorado 4-H conference at Colorado State University. COURTESY PHOTO
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RBC | The 2018 Livestock Judging Season concluded for the Rio Blanco 4-H senior team at the 73rd annual Colorado 4-H June conference held at Colorado State University.

Dr. Kevin Pond and Clay Carlson from the Colorado State University animal science department put on an outstanding contest.

Macy Collins, Jilly Bumguardner, Marryn Shults and Tatumn Kennedy marked cards for RBC last Wednesday.  Collins ended her 4-H career as the third high individual overall and Marryn Shults earned a top 10 position as the seventh high individual overall in Colorado 4-H Livestock Judging.

Macy had to judge as an individual as her national qualifying team participation was burned back in 2015 when she anchored the state champion judging team that qualified for the National 4-H Contest.   Marryn, Jilly and Tatumn were the RBC senior team.

The state contest is designed to challenge judges and they need to be sharp. It’s a 15-hour day and there is no getting lucky at this show. It is arguably the most respected national qualifying 4-H contest in the nation. Twelve livestock classes and sex sets of reasons challenge the teams competing for a state championship. It is an exercise in focus, logic and mental toughness. This is quite a test for a 14-year that just left junior high. Not many adults would enjoy preparing six oral presentations after lunch with no notes in less than 2.5 hours. The basic professional skills learned by participating in 4-H livestock evaluation are unmatched compared to any youth activity.

In the beef division Shults finished fourth and Collins earned fifth.

In swine Collins got the white rosette third overall.

In the sheep/goat section Collins was fourth and Shults was fifth overall.  Both talked a high set of reasons to the officials.  Marryn scored a 48 on market lamb class and Macy talked a 48 on the wether boer dam does.

In individual placings with 600 points possible, Shults placed seventh at 572 and Collins was one spot behind her in eighth at 570.

Oral reasons required 300 maximum points and Collins finished third overall averaging a 46 on six sets with 281 points and Shults finished 12th averaging a 45 on six presentations with 270 points.

Bumguardner and Kennedy gained valuable experience and can build on the future. They may not have placed as high as they anticipated but this activity is based on fundamentals and experience and they added to their foundation and will earn plenty of recognition down the road.

Collins made the Colorado State 4-H Livestock All State team this season and will be recognized at the Colorado State Fair. She is headed to Hutchinson Junior College this fall on a full ride academic and judging scholarship. It will be strange not to hear her voice in practice and not have to make space on the back seat for her awards on the way home. She was an integral member of the most recognized 4-H judging teams in Rio Blanco County 4-H history.  She was a team member on the junior and senior level that won every 4-H Livestock Judging invitational contest in Colorado at least once. She was on RBC’s first State Champion Team in 2015 and has marked cards at contests held in Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa and Montana. Her accomplishments are unprecedented and Collins will not be forgotten in Meeker’s judging universe, but her presence and leadership will be missed by her coach, teammates and peers across the region as she moves on to college.