Thursday January 25, 2018 fifteen livestock judgers from Benton County participated in the Iowa Pork Congress Youth Judging Contest in Des Moines, Iowa.

With nearly 500 participants, the competition was stiff as the youngsters took a test over meat quality and a test over pork industry topics. In addition, the judging contest included a market evaluation class where the contestants had to estimate the weight, back fat and loin eye area of ten market hogs and rank them on a percent lean basis. Finally, the students judged a class of market hogs, a class of breeding gilts and a keep/cull selection class.

When the results were announced Benton County dominated the contest. The senior division team of Gabe Hanson, Alex Ludeking, Jacob Ludeking and Landon Siek were overall champions. Jacob Ludeking was top individual, Siek was reserve individual and Hanson was fifth overall.

The three junior teams excelled as well. Junior participants from   Benton County were First Place team, Second Place team and Fourth Place team. The contestants in the junior division were Mia Brecht, Ellie Karr, Breck Coffland, Jill Hanson, Kale Campbell, William Kronneman, Olivia Hanson, Josh Wiley, Clayton McKenna, Andrew Pingenot and Hannah Siek.

The Benton County Livestock Judging program operates through the ISU Extension in Benton County with support from Friends of 4-H, the Benton County Cattlemen and other contributors.