N. Dakota 4-H’ers place in national competition

The Morton County livestock judging team places 11th overall at the Western National Roundup in Denver, Colo. Pictured are (from left): Jackie Buckley (coach), team members Kelsie Schaff, Jameson Ellingson, Conner Kaelberer, Sara Jochim and Stetson Ellingson, and Luke Keller (coach). Photo courtesy of Western National Roundup

Several North Dakota 4-H teams placed at the recent Western National Roundup in Denver, Colo.

They were among more than 1,000 4-H and FFA members from 30-plus states and Alberta, Canada, who attended the 96th annual event held Jan. 7-10 in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show.

4-H and FFA members from 14 to 19 years old have the opportunity to qualify for the Roundup by winning their state contests or being selected as a state delegate.

Youth compete in events such as horse and livestock judging, a livestock quiz bowl, hippology, horse demonstrations, parliamentary procedure, family and consumer sciences presentations, skill-a-thon and bowl, consumer decision making, public speaking and meats identification at the Western National Roundup. Throughout the week, youth also attend workshops on topics such as public speaking, team building and leadership development.

The categories in which North Dakota 4-H teams or individuals participated were:

Consumer Choices

The Walsh County team of Emily Zikmund, Rachel Klose, Mikayla Fingarson, Julia Koppang and Gretchen Brummond placed first in the placing division and third overall. In individual competition, Klose took fourth in the placing division and placed fifth overall.

Consumer choices teaches youth how to make decisions based on the information they have learned from studying particular articles or products. Youth learn to rank those articles or products based on standards and quality, and defend their decisions.

Horse Quiz Bowl

The Barnes County team of Makenna Knight, Brooke McDonald, Sam Bergrud and Mickaella Langer placed 10th.

The Horse Quiz Bowl allows youth to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subjects in a game format using buzzer systems.

Horse Demonstration

Victoria Christensen of Barnes County placed sixth with her presentation “Horse Diseases and Prevention.”

Participants in this contest prepare and present a demonstration on a horse topic of their choice. The demonstrations provide information and show how something is done. Participants are evaluated on the content and delivery of the presentation.

Horse Judging

The Stark-Billings County team of Morgan Nelson, Alexa Dineen, Alisha Dworshak, Madison Kadrmas, Christina Stroh and Tristen Polensky placed fourth in reasons, seventh in halter, 10th in performance and eighth overall.


Dworshak – first in halter, first in reasons and 10th overall

Kadrmas – 11th in performance

Horse judging is a competitive event in which youth develop and improve their ability to envision the ideal horse and recognize desirable and undesirable characteristics in the horses they are judging.

Livestock Judging

The Morton County team of Kelsie Schaff, Jameson Ellingson, Conner Kaelberer, Sara Jochim and Stetson Ellingson took fourth in oral reasons and sixth in beef, and placed 11th overall.


Jameson Ellingson – sixth in goats and 11th in oral reasons

Stetson Ellingson – eighth in sheep, 16th in oral reasons and 19th in beef

Kaelberer – 17th in swine and 18th in oral reasons

Jochim – eighth in goats and 21st in oral reasons

In livestock judging, youth evaluate classes of animals and rank them based on conformation and how they will fulfill a role in a given production scenario. Contestants defend their placing with oral reasons.

Visit for more information about the Western National Roundup.

–NDSU Extension