Livestock judging team members learn to evaluate breeding and market classes of beef cattle, swine, and sheep.

Livestock judging is a popular activity amongst students enrolled in agricultural studies. This is an applied activity supported by animal science, serving as a tool to teach livestock production and fundamental life skills.  Students on the team acquire a working knowledge of growth, carcass composition, evaluation, and selection of cattle, goats, sheep, and swine. Production data, genetic predictions, and management scenarios accompany the livestock to further advance the understanding of the industry and production situations.

Livestock judging has a rich history supported by institutions across the United States. Contests are held to challenge students through competition to advance their knowledge and communication skills.  Students interact with like minded peers from other institutions with similar backgrounds and interests.   Additionally, they get to visit premier operations while learning from leading industry professionals.

Penn State typically competes in the following contest:

  • Dixie National Intercollegiate Beef Judging Contest, Jackson, MS.
  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston, TX.
  • All-East Livestock Contest
  • Prof. Lidvall Memorial Judging Contest, Cookeville, TN.
  • World Beef Expo, Milwaukee, WI.
  • Keystone International Livestock Exposition, Harrisburg, PA.
  • American Royal, Kansas City, MO.
  • Boilermaker Livestock Judging Contest, West Lafayette, IN.
  • Triple Crown Contest Series, CA.
  • North American International Livestock Expo, Louisville, KY.

How to Get Involved

Interested students should enroll in the following courses:

  • AN SC 324 (Value Determination of Meat Animals) in the fall semester of their junior year, followed by...
  • AN SC 424 (Livestock Breeding, Evaluation, and Selection) in the spring semester of their junior year, and...
  • AN SC 426 (Advanced Livestock Judging) in the fall of their senior year.

Contact Information

Students can contact Coach, Ben Williamson, or Assistant Coach, Alli Jobe, for more details or with any questions!