University News

WIU to Host Ag Judging Conference

April 11, 2006

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University will open its doors for the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Annual Judging Conference Thursday-Saturday, April 20-22. This is the first time for Western to host this renowned nationwide event.

According to Mark Hoge, associate agriculture professor and coordinator of the conference, the NACTA Judging Conference attracts approximately 400 students from two- and four-year colleges from across the United States. Teams and individuals will compete for awards in a variety of agricultural judging divisions. In 2004, four Western agriculture-related teams took top honors at the NACTA conference, earning Western the title of Sweepstakes Champion.

The event will kickoff April 20 with a welcome barbeque at the WIU Livestock and will culminate April 22 with an awards banquet in Western Hall.

This year's judging conference will cover contests in nine areas: agricultural mechanics, agricultural business, livestock, dairy, horse, crop science, soils, horticulture and a quiz bowl. The contests will take place at the Livestock Center and in Knoblauch Hall; additional contests will be held at the Black Hawk College Campus in Kewanee (IL).

“Within each of these contests, students are tested on their knowledge of the subject matter and asked to make decisions in a timely fashion,” Hoge explained. “Each contest is extremely competitive and gives students an opportunity to rise to the top. These competitors and coaches have spent hours practicing for this contest. In a sense, it could be thought of as the ‘Agriculture Olympics’ focusing on intellectual strengths.”

The contest events are open free to the public.

For more information and the schedule of events, visit, or call non-credit programs at 309/298-1911 or the agriculture department at 309/298-1080.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing