2015 Nat’l Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest winners announced | TSLN.com

2015 Nat’l Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest winners announced

Bison judging contestants vied Jan. 21, for $4,600 in individual scholarships and team trophies at the National Bison Association's (NBA) Seventh Annual Junior Judging Contest. Taking top honors and a $1,500 scholarship with an overall score of 226.5, was Chase Cervsosky from Colby, Kan. The top placing team, scoring a total of 659.5 points, was from Colby (Kansas) FFA, and included Cervsosky, Christian Calliham, Alexsis Dennis and Tresta Urban. The team is coached by Colby FFA Advisor Tom Rundel and was one of two Colby FFA entries.

Second place individual and a $1,200 scholarship with a score of 219 was Hunter Bellm, Brighton, Colo. Bellm also was a member of the second place team, which hailed from Weld Central (Colorado) FFA. Her other teammates included Levi Lemons and Taya Baumgartner. The second place team had a total score of 637. This team was coached by Weld Central FFA Advisor Willard Kendall.

Third place individual, winning a $900 scholarship with a score of 218 points was Tresta Urban, Colby, Kan., also a member of the first place team. Coming in third in team standings with a total point tally of 605 was also a team from Colby FFA. Members of this team consisted of Makayla Hoffman, Grace Oard, Dalton Colgan and Dalton Ellis.

Generous scholarship donors upped the contributions to double last year's pot, providing scholarships for additional contestants. Taking fourth place and a $600 scholarship with 216 points was Makayla Hoffman, Colby FFA. Fifth place and a $300 scholarship went to Christian Calliham, who with 215 points was a member of the first place team. In sixth place with a score of 214 points and winning a $100 scholarship was Levi Lemons, Hudson, Colo., a member of the second place team from Weld Central FFA.

The contest was held at the National Western Stock Show (NWSS), Denver, Colo., in conjunction with the NBA's 2015 Gold Trophy Show & Sale. Contestants judged four classes: yearling heifers, heifer calves, yearling bulls and bull calves, and gave reasons on yearling bull class. Each animal class and the reasons class had a total possible point value of 50, making 250 total points a perfect score.

"This is a great industry and a wonderful species, and we are pleased to see young, potential producers take an interest in bison," said Dave Carter, NBA executive director. "We are very pleased that these and other contestants braved the storm and made it to Denver for this contest,"

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According to Dr. Gerald Parsons, DVM, Stratford, Okla., who started and administers the NBA Jr. Judging Contest, the program is a good way for young people to learn more about bison. "Following the contest, we took the kids out to the judging pens to discuss why they were placed the way there were as well as to talk about bison as livestock for aspiring producers."

Also initiated by Parsons is the mentoring program between producers and FFA chapters wishing to learn more and get hands on experience. In addition, the NBA offers a junior membership, which provides young people 21 years of age and younger with the same benefits as its producer members but for a discounted rate of $50 annually.

–National Bison Assn.