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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


2014 Livestock Judging Season Ends with OSU’s Best Performance in 17 Years

COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of The Ohio State University Livestock Judging Team’s most competitive seasons was capped off with a seventh place finish at the 109th National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held on Nov. 17, in Louisville, Ky., in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). This was the highest placing for OSU at the national contest since 1997, when the team also finished seventh overall and was a great way to finish an outstanding year of competition. With the exception of Texas Tech University, the 2014 OSU LJT outperformed every other university team at least once this past season. Kalmbach Feeds sponsored OSU’s trip to the national championship contest. A special “Thank You” is extended to Kalmbach Feeds and OSU LJT alumnus and Kalmbach Feeds VP of Sales and Marketing, Jeff Neal, for securing the sponsorship. Ohio State was among 31 university teams from across the country to judge five cattle classes, four swine classes and three sheep classes before presenting eight sets of oral reasons. OSU placed third in beef judging, fifth in swine, ninth in oral reasons and eleventh in the sheep division. Courtney Tarvin, Mt. Olivet, Ky., led the team by finishing sixth overall, which is the highest individual performance by an OSU student since Dave Rapp placed sixth in 1994. Tarvin was also the eighth best cattle judge in the contest, which was held in the Kentucky Exposition Center, the exact same venue she has exhibited livestock her whole life as a member of Kentucky’s 4-H and FFA programs. Tonya Fender, Lynchburg, Ohio, was the high individual in performance swine judging, as a result of placing the performance swine class correctly, and then earning a perfect score of 50 on that set of oral reasons. Fender was one of only two students in the contest to earn a perfect score in oral reasons, and was the only competitor to receive that score in performance swine. Levi Criswell, Marion, Ohio, and Zach Bartenslager, Lewisburg, W. Va., finished 15th and 20th overall, respectively. Their overall performances resulted in OSU being one of only three universities to have three students place in the top 20 individuals. Purdue University and Western Illinois University were the other two institutions. Cody Shafer earned his place among the elite livestock judgers produced by OSU, by becoming just the fourth OSU student since 2000 to average a 45 or better overall reasons score at the national contest. The 2014 OSU Livestock Judging Team consists of Zach Bartenslager, Lewisburg, W. Va., Levi Criswell, Marion, Ohio, Tonya Fender, Lynchburg, Ohio, Megan Hunker, Bellevue, Ohio, Jacob Ruffing, Republic, Ohio, Cody Shafer, Eaton, Ohio, Courtney Tarvin, Mt. Olivet, Ky., and Lydia Ulry, Johnstown, Ohio. Emily Limes, Bowling Green, Ohio, is serving as the Assistant Coach of the team. NAILE marks the end of both the 2014 collegiate judging season and Kyle Culp’s coaching career. From the coach: “Thank you to all of the students, alumni, stakeholders and OSU faculty and staff for your support the past four and half years. I knew I wanted to coach a collegiate livestock judging team since I was a freshman in high school and have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at OSU. I feel like we made substantial progress with our program, and hope that the next coach can step in and continue to push the OSU LJT in a positive direction. I couldn’t be more proud of the students I had the opportunity to coach, and sincerely thank each of them for putting their faith in me and our program.” For more information about the OSU Livestock Judging Team, please contact Kyle Culp at