Seven youth from Grant County and the surrounding areas attended the annual Leddy Livestock Judging School Tuesday, June 28, at the Leddy Herefords farm of Wade and Lori Leddy of Twin Brooks.
Youth, ranging in age from 8 to 18, judged four classes of beef, swine, sheep and meat goats. They also completed a set of check-type reasons and oral reasons.
Halley Becking, Codington County 4-H alumni and long-time attendee of the school, instructed the youth and gave tips on proper judging techniques, as well as giving the official placings and reasons for each class.
Prizes were awarded to top scoring judges in each 4-H age division. In the junior division, Tanner Mertens (Grant County) scored 250 points while Allison Leddy (Grant County) tallied 232 and Grant Loehrer (Codington County), 204. Leading the beginner division was Garrett Mertens (Grant County) with 243 points. Riley Rasmussen (Brookings County) was second with 237, and Mia Van Lith (Grant County) was third at 223.
“Livestock judging allows youth to compare each animal against one another,” explained Sara Koepke, Grant County 4-H Youth Program Advisor. “Young cattle producers will be faced with selection decisions that affects their profitability in their own livestock herds. The goal is to make a sound, defensible decision based on fact.”
The local school has become a tradition in Grant County. It was started by Gene Leddy’s father, Ralph, for the Grant County 4-Hers and area young people for the past 76 years. The family tradition has been continued even further by Gene’s son, Wade, and his wife, Lori, who now ensure this tradition runs smoothly.
The educational portion of the evening was followed by all participants enjoying ice cream bars and awarding of prizes.
Participants of the 76th annual Leddy Livestock Judging School were back row, left to right, Allison Leddy, Tyler Rasmussen, Garrett Mertens and Grant Loehrer. Front row, Mia Van Lith, Riley Rasmussen and Garrett Mertens.