Bringin' home the bacon, and beef and the mutton
- Mardi Ford
It's pretty neat when a small group of kids from a small town like Cove can travel all the way to a state competition and come home champions.
Members of the Cove Livestock 4-H Club did just that earlier this month. The club's Senior Livestock Judging Team won the state competition in Corvallis, earning the right to head to the huge national competition in Louisville, Ky., in November.
Team members are Katie Moore, Hannah DelCurto, Moriah Murchison and Shelby Davis, all from Cove, and alternate team member Courtney Skeen, Union.
The club's intermediate team comprised of Scott DelCurto, J.T. Batty, Emilee Patterson and Britany Leihtner also competed in Corvallis and took reserve champion, said club leader Tammy DelCurto.
"They were all pretty excited about how well they did," said DelCurto.
Most of the kids have been judging livestock in competition for a long time.
"Well, Hannah (DelCurto), Katie (Moore) and Moriah (Murchison), for example, have been judging livestock since they were little," DelCurto said.
The competition involves judging 12 classes of beef, sheep and swine plus competing in the oral reason category.
"That's where they have to explain to the panel why they placed the animals in the class they did. It's basically a mini-speech," said DelCurto.
In making a decision, the teams look at not only the animal's confirmation, but it's production data Â— genetic traits like easy calving or good milk production in heifers.
Senior team results were a first-place win in both the beef and sheep classes, and second places in the swine class and oral reasons. Overall, the team also took first place, earning them the spot at nationals this fall.
Besides being judged as a team, individual members were also judged on their own. Moore placed first in the overall competition as well as in beef and sheep, placed second in reasons and fifth in swine.
DelCurto placed third in beef and the overall category, as well as fifth in sheep. Murchison took a third place win for the swine class.
The Intermediate team placed second in all four team categories, including overall, which gives them reserve champion status at the state level.
Individually, Scott DelCurto placed third in beef and fifth in sheep, Leithner took third in sheep and fifth in beef, while Patterson took fourth in sheep.