UW Livestock Judging Team records best finish in 30+ Years

Judging team group photo with display of their awards.
From left, Colby Hales, assistant coach; Connor Madsen, Wheatland; Kyle Cavey, Berthoud, Colorado; Kassi Renner, Lovell; Zane Mackey, Torrington; Amanda Hartman, Denton, Montana; Garrett Barton, Poway, California; Ty Shockley, Wheatland; Paige Aylward, Dickens, Nebraska; Tyler Bauer, Johnstown, Colorado; Lucas Stalcup, Ashland, Montana; Caleb Boardman, coach

The 2017 University of Wyoming finished 8th at the North American International Livestock Exposition in November in Louisville, Kentucky. This marks the first top-10 finish at the National Championship in at least 30 years Coach Caleb Boardman says.

“We have records of scores dating back to 1993, and from visiting with past team members through the late ’80s, we can say this is the best finish for the program at the International in a very long time,” says Boardman.

Nationally, 138 contestants represented 29 universities at the contest. In addition to earning 8th overall, the team finished 5th in performance cattle, 6th in swine, 8th in overall beef and 9th in reasons. The total scores posted, as well as those in cattle, hogs and reasons are the highest on record for UW.

The team was led by Zane Mackey and Garrett Barton, who both finished in the top 30 overall. Barton tied for 2nd in swine reasons and was 5th overall in swine.

Earlier in the fall, the team finished 8th at the National Barrow Show, AKSARBEN and the Flint Hills Classic contests and finished 9th overall at the American Royal in Kansas City at the end of October.

“Although the team was hoping for higher finishes at both Kansas City and Louisville, by being top-10 at both contests, they became one of six universities that finished in the top 10 at every national contest this year, which is a great accomplishment, and we’re very proud of them for that,” says Boardman, who is assisted by graduate student coach Colby Hales.

Individually, Tyler Bauer led the team at the American Royal with a 6th-place finish out of 122 contestants. He was also 4th in cattle and 11th in both sheep and reasons. The team finished 9th in each of the beef, sheep and reasons categories and 10th in hogs out of 25 teams.

“This marks the end of a chapter for these students, and while this team has helped establish UW as a nationally competitive program, I’m more excited to see what they accomplish in their future endeavors,” says Boardman. “A long line of successful alumni have come through this program over the years, and my goal is that these students will continue that legacy of making an impact in whatever they do.”

On behalf of the program, Boardman extended thanks to the producers who allow the team to practice with their livestock, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Department of Animal Science and private donors who support their travel throughout the year.

The UW judging programs, which include the livestock, horse and meats judging teams, are in the midst of a campaign to raise funds for 2018. To learn more, visit http://c-fund.us/ctz, or contact coach Boardman at caleb.boardman@uwyo.edu or 307-766-2159.