Students in the Grove FFA attended the Oklahoma State University Livestock Judging Camp at Stillwater, during the week of June 15 to 17.

The students included Hannah Dozier, Rylee Caswell, Nettie Kirby, Sierra Campbell, Lauren Chaney, Kash Butler and Kord Butler.

The camp was led by Rusty Gosz, Dr. Blake Bloomberg and other members of the animal science department faculty and staff, along with members of the OSU Livestock Judging Team.

The instruction included current type in slaughter and breeding beef cattle, sheep and swine; judging livestock in these six categories; live animal and carcass relationships; the use of performance data and preparing and presenting oral reasons.

The methods of instruction included lecture, demonstration, hands-on experience, one-on-one coaching, critiquing and question and answer sessions.

Each participant prepared and presented several sets of oral reasons, and at least three sets were recorded on videotape which the participant received. The tape also included example sets of reasons from college students

“Livestock judging is very beneficial to students enrolled in the Grove Agricultural Education program," Grove FFA Advisor Garrett Bergman said. "It enhances decision making capabilities and also provides the opportunity to defend those decisions through oral reasons.

"Oral reasons provide the framework for public speaking skills – skills that are needed to succeed in life. Another attribute consist of judging creating confidence needed in those students who may be timid to voice their opinion and strive for success."

For Caswell, the experience gave her a chance to network with other individuals and producers who share similar interests. 

Agriculture programs prepare students for high-demand careers in cutting edge industries like biotechnology, renewable energies, engineering, food production, and more.

They also teach students how to be leaders and prepare them to take on the challenges of the next generation.