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Western Illinois University students and a School of Agriculture faculty member helped the WIU School of Agriculture's Livestock Judging Team take home first place at the 66th annual National Barrow Show, which was held Sept. 9-12 in Austin, MN. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Stokes. Back row (L to R): Mark Hoge, Brandon Davis, Austin Waltz, Blaine Evans and Travis Terhaar. Front row (L to R): Cody Lamle, Blake Nickle, Tyler Tonkin, Rebecca Stokes, Michael Gall and Miles Toenyes.
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School of Ag Livestock Judging Team Champion at National Barrow Show

September 20, 2012


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MACOMB, IL – A few Western Illinois University students and a School of Agriculture faculty member helped the WIU School of Agriculture's Livestock Judging Team take home first place at the 66th annual National Barrow Show earlier this month. Led by WIU School of Ag Associate Professor Mark Hoge, who serves as the team's coach, and Miles Toenyes (Highland, IL), a senior ag major who serves as assistant coach, the team competed at the annual competition in Austin, MN, Sept. 9-12.

According to Hoge, the students showed the champion Yorkshire purebred truckload and earned reserve overall. The team's judging of the crossbred truckload earned second place to the reserve cross load category. Team members are all agriculture majors and include:

  • Brandon Davis, junior, Winamac, IN
  • Blaine Evans, senior, Thorntown, IN
  • Michael Gall, senior, Odell, IL
  • Cody Lamle, senior, Columbia City, IN
  • Blake Nickle, senior, Hillsboro, IN
  • Rebecca Stokes, senior, Macomb, MO
  • Travis Terhaar, junior, Parker City, IN
  • Tyler Tonkin, junior, Mineral Point, WI
  • Austin Waltz, senior, Morristown, IN

Stokes, a senior whose study area of emphasis is agriculture science, explained the livestock judging terminology.

"Basically a truckload at the National Barrow Show is a group of six Yorkshire registered swine shown all at once. The animals are judged on composition individually, as well as consistency among the group of swine. Receiving the 'champion purebred load' means we were ranked first out of all the other purebred loads at the show (purebred means registered livestock, crossbred means unregistered livestock)," she said. "Also, when it is said the crossbred truckload was second to the reserve cross load, this means the only group of hogs that beat WIU's crossbred load was the truckload ranked second."

Stokes also noted the WIU Livestock Judging team members who competed at the National Barrow show also earned the high team mark in "reasons," which involves the team's ability to judge livestock.

"We must look at four hogs and place them first through fourth. Then, after we have placed all the classes of swine, we meet one-on-one with a contest official to verbally explain and justify the choices we made when placing the class," Stokes noted. "It gives us the opportunity to explain how we placed the class, why we placed the class the way we did, as well as describe the swine that were in that class. This is a highly competitive sport that encourages teamwork, personal growth, hard work, dedication and public-speaking skills."

Hoge added Brandon Davis earned the highest ranking for an individual in reasons, and Austin Waltz and Rebecca Stokes placed third and fourth, respectively, for individuals overall. He said the WIU School of Ag took two Yorkshire boars to the show, and the hogs received first and third in class. The class winner (the first place boar) was the Reserve Champion Boar.

"It was apparent to many people at the National Barrow Show that we have a great set of hard-working and talented undergraduate students," Hoge noted.

For more information, contact the WIU School of Agriculture at (309) 298-1080. Learn more about the School of Ag at wiu.edu/ag.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations