Chester County 4-H livestock judging teams travel to the Tennessee State Fair

The first place team junior division included, from left, Chris Davis, Will Davis, Kalaeb Weaver and Kodie Weaver. Also pictured is UT Extension Agent Steve Rickman.

By Steve Rickman

UT Extension Agent

Twenty-three students from the Chester County 4-H livestock judging teams recently competed in the Tennessee State Fair in Lebanon on Wednesday, Aug. 18. The boys and girls from Chester County made their presence known in their first trip to Lebanon. We had the largest group by number of any county at the State Fair. When it came time for awards presentations, a total of seven awards were claimed by our teams. Approximately 135 individuals competed representing either 4-H or FFA. The contest is open to fourth-12th grade students who judged beef cattle, pigs, goats, and sheep.
In the junior division Chester County took top honors in the team division placing first and second. The first place team consisted of Chris Davis, Will Davis, Kalaeb Weaver and Kodie Weaver. Making up second place team was Eli Beshires, Bristol Cherry, Peyton Mills and Anna Tucker. Canton Taylor was a late edition to the teams and judged individually and did awesome job finishing eighth place overall in the junior division. Each team is required to have a minimum three members, but most teams compete with four team members, and that way you can drop the lowest score in team competition. The top five individuals received awards in the junior division: Peyton Mills – fifth place, Bristol Cherry – fourth place and Chris Davis – second place.
In the junior high division Chester County also had two teams. Awards were given for the top four teams in each division. Finishing in fourth place was team members Garner Hickman, Karley Heinsohn and Emily Weekley. Close behind was team members Evan Jones, Carly Plunk and Jameson Roland. Highest individual in junior high competition was Emily Weekley – 10th, Garner Hickman – 12th, Evan Jones – 13th and Karley Heinsohn – 14th.
The senior high division was by far the most competitive division with 81 contestants. Chester County was represented by two teams from Chester County High School. All of these students are eligible to judge as 4-H and FFA members throughout the year. The team of Tanner Fowler, Will Kemp, Paul Jones and Lucus Tucker placed fourth out of 20 teams. Separated only by 14 points and close behind were team members Colton Hopper, Aja Stovall, Weston Taylor and Madison Woofter. Highest individuals were Tanner Fowler – 13th, Aja Stovall – 15th, and Lucus Tucker – 18th.
This contest was a great fun trip to kick-off our fall livestock judging events. It will not be long before we will be practicing every week. You will find these students on the road traveling to UT Martin and Lexington for livestock judging clinics that simulate an actual contest. Weekly, students have the opportunity to receive hands-on training with live animals on farms in our region. Another important part of these practices is learning how to care for these different farm animals.
We are very proud of all these students who made the trip to the State Fair. They all did an outstanding job. For some it was their first taste of competition. Due to COVID quarantine and other obligations, several of our students did not get to travel. We missed them big time and look forward to seeing them soon. Thank you to Mrs. Crouse our 4-H/FFA advisor at Chester County High School and Amy Eads from CCHS for organizing/ transporting high school students to the contest. Huge thanks go out to all the parents who helped with travel and supervision on a hot muggy, stormy day in Lebanon. 4-H is about to get busy with all our fall events and school clubs kicking off. Contact us at your local UT Extension-Chester County office at 989-2103 for more information about exciting opportunities to get kids involved in 4-H. Please follow our UT Extension-Chester County Facebook page, for all news and events.

All team members except for 2 that had to leave early. There were a total of 23 sudents thatr competed.

Pictured above is the second place junior division team, from left, Eli Beshires, Peyton Mills, Bristol Cherry, and UT Extension agent Steve Rickman; not pictured is Anna Tucker.