With a shout of "Time's in!" Chase Huelle, 14-years-old, turns to judge livestock during Youth Day at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo. "I enjoy it," said Huelle. "It's something that I want to do in my future."
Six classes of pigs, sheep, beef, and goats were put to the test by nearly 100 kids ages eight to 18. "Market animals you want to pick the one with the most muscle," said Huelle. "And you don't want them to be over-conditioned, meaning you don't want them to be overweight."
Huelle took notes while he observed the animals, and then filled out his score card. "It's fun for them," said Katrina Hespe, the event coordinator. "Let's them come out and develop those decision-making skills."
Hespe says kids learn how to pick quality animals, but they also learn a thing or two about speaking confidently." Develop their speaking skills, because seniors age 10 on up have to give oral reasons of why they placed the classes that way," said Hespe. Something Hespe learned at these competitions and then applied to her own life. "Going to job interviews, it just makes you prepared for the quick answers and being able to think on your toes," said Hespe.
That's a skill Huelle will use in the future. "I used to be scared to speak in front of a crowd, I probably wouldn't have even done this interview," said Huelle. "I'm not really scared to do that anymore."
A fear conquered by a family tradition of livestock judging. "It's something my family has been doing for a long time so we're keeping the generation," said Huelle.
Huelle says he wants to be an Ag teacher and attend Casper College.
Other activities Saturday included knowledge test and a beef cook-off.