Colo.’s Morgan County 4-H livestock judging team wins frist place at state | TheFencePost.com

Colo.’s Morgan County 4-H livestock judging team wins frist place at state

Caden Callaway
for The Fence Post

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Morgan County 4-H livestock judging team brought home the first place plaque from the state competition. The combined team of Morgan/Washington counties competed on the Colorado State University campus in Fort Collins for the contest on June 20.

The day began with 12 classes of livestock, ranging from Red Angus bulls, to breeding gilts, to market lambs and breeding does. Once the live evaluation portion was completed, the contestants presented six sets of oral reasons to a team of officials to defend their placings. At the end of the day, the scores for both the classes and the reasons are compiled, to rank the individuals. Individual scores are then put together to create team placings.

Caden Callaway, Peighton Kendrick, Courtney Griffith and Jordan Kendrick earned fourth place in the beef category, third in swine, first in the sheep/goat category, as well as first in reasons. In the end, it came together for the team. They came home with the set of purple champion ribbons, plaques and buckles. In addition to prizes, the four earned a trip to judge in Louisville, Ky., this November.

Coach Susan Kendrick, Jordan's mother and Peighton's aunt, has been working hard to prepare her team for any contest that might come their way.

"Anytime we can squeeze a practice in, we do," she said. "Kids are really busy these days, so you have to be aware they have a lot of other activities that they are involved in. You need to be flexible and squeeze in as many practices as you can. We also go to a lot of contests in the spring to prepare. I believe that kids should be well-rounded individuals and participate in a wide variety of things that are offered to them."

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Their success has been a long time in the making. Because Morgan County only has three contestants on their team, they were able to combine with Washington County to include Peighton Kendrick on their roster. It allowed Morgan County to field a complete four-person team and allowed Peighton to complete as part of a team.

"It starts many years before the state contest," Kendrick said. "It's all the hours and travel time they do. Even when they start as juniors. Caden, Courtney, and Jordan have been judging together for quite a while. We were fortunate enough to pick up Peighton from Washington County to be on our team."

In the fall, Jordan Kendrick will return to Brush High School as a senior, and president of her FFA Chapter. Caden Callaway, will serve his year as the Wiggins FFA president for his senior year as well. Peighton Kendrick will continue as a sophomore at Otis High. Courtney Griffith, recent Brush graduate, will start her freshman year of college at Butler Community College in Kansas on a livestock judging scholarship.

The team will train this fall to prepare for their appearance at the national contest. For Coach Kendrick, it will be her second trip to Louisville. Her last trip was as a contestant when she and her team, under the coaching of Tim Amen, won the state's top honors.

Amen, who fielded three state champion teams from Morgan County, said Kendrick, then Eisenach, had a good eye for livestock and went on to have success at the collegiate level before coaching.

Susan's father, Marlin Eisenach, the longtime Morgan County Extension Agent, was honored at the night's awards banquet with the Friend of Colorado State University Award, recognizing his support and dedication to the university over the years. ❖