SDSU student earns top spot at national livestock judging contest
The winner of the 2020 National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest says commitment and good coaching helped him succeed. South Dakota State University Senior Tyler Bush earned the title at the North American International Livestock Exposition last month in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The last four years have really revolved around livestock judging and practice and focusing on that, and just a lot of time and dedication to push forward with that is really what it takes,” Bush told Brownfield Ag News. “As long as you’re committed, I think your coach can help you be successful.”
In addition to practice and dedication, Bush, an animal science major, has livestock judging in his genes.
“My dad and my grandpa both, they livestock judged, and my dad currently still judges quite a few cattle shows across the country,” said Bush. “I’ve learned a lot from those two.”
Bush, from Britton, South Dakota, achieved high individual overall and high individual in reasons, competing against students from 19 universities. He is only the third individual in SDSU history to win the national contest. The other national champions were Leon Spronk in 1974 and Gary TeStroete in 1962. In addition, the SDSU team placed third overall.
“Our team had the most successful season in recent history and went out on a high note at the national contest.” said Brady Jensen, the SDSU Livestock Judging Team Coach.
The 2020 team members include: Bush; Simon Liggett, animal science student from Mount Solon, Virginia; Matthew Chaney, animal science student from Libertytown, Maryland; Tommy Norman, animal science student from Luverne, Minnesota; Brooke Skoglund, animal science student from Hecla, South Dakota; Lexi Wetzel, agricultural business student from Faribault, Minnesota; and Brittany Morgan, animal science student from Morgan, Utah. The team is coached by Brady Jensen.
The team practiced 20-40 hours each week during the spring and fall semesters. They competed in 11 contests since the start of the season in January culminating in the national contest at Louisville November 16.