5 Signs You’ve Been on a Livestock Judging Team
Being on a livestock judging team is an experience that is unique, not just because of the elite stock you get the opportunity to evaluate. You get to see a HUGE part of the country that you might not see otherwise, and make some great memories with great people.
5. Cards for days. Even after you’re done judging, you keep finding those little reminders that you were on a team. They might be in a coat pocket from a cold workout prior to Denver, or come tumbling out of a bag you always carried snacks in on judging trips. It’s been a little over a year since I judged, and I’m still finding those little yellow cards in the most random places.
4. You may or may not have a nickname that only your teammates and coach can call you. I was that person. I was the one with the nickname. Mine comes from my sarcastic, sassy and honest remarks toward my other teammates. It was Sassy Patsy and if I was really on a roll, I was upgraded to Patty. It seems unusual for my teammates to not call me Patsy. Other nicknames might come from klutzy incidents, sarcastic remarks or even you give yourself the nickname.
3. You’ve finessed the art of sleeping on long trips as well as only using the bathroom when the van stops. I had been on long car rides before, but nothing compared to the length of some of the judging trips (cough* Denver *cough). We left at odd hours, which also granted for a lot of sleeping time. Besides sleeping there also comes the art of “holding it” for as long as you can because you are only stopping when the van needs filled up. Now when I have to go on long road trips, I am a pro at sleeping as well as waiting until the car needs filled up.
2. You’ve been able to go to shows and operations that you may not have been able to without being on a judging team. National Western, Dixie National and the American Royal are just some of the shows that I may not have been able to go to had it not been for judging. I also was able to cross off multiple states that I’ve never been to as well. Probably one of the biggest benefits is being able to go to some of the elite livestock operations that host workouts prior to major contests such the National Western, American Royal and NAILE. This can be a networking opportunity as well!
1. Ah, the van. What happens in the van, stays in the van. There are always lots of laughs, tears, deep conversations, and memories that happen in the van. You might have times that the van gets stuck, or you might be two hours away from school and the van won’t start, but you’ll have those memories. There are also the van songs that you listen to just for when you’re going to the contest, or the songs that you jam out to late at night to stay awake. But it boils down to coming close to your teammates. Those are the people that you will always have the same experience with. You had much the same struggles, laughs, and fun times with.
Thanks to Sarah, Kenzie, Derrick, and Dylan for being great teammates and awesome pals.