Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Goat judging school offered


April 11, 2019

With the increase in market goat projects around the county and beyond, the need for judges of those animals has also gone up. This prompted WSU Extension in Whitman, Asotin and Garfield counties to host the Pacific Northwest Sheep and Goat Judges School and Show Management Conference May 16-17 in Pullman.

“We’re excited to be offering it,” said Janet Schmidt, Whitman County Extension director.

It has been 15 years since a judging school has been offered by Extension, Schmidt noted. With the rise in market goats at local fairs she and Mark Heitstuman of WSU Asotin and Garfield County Extension decided to offer the school. Schmidt stated there is a need for judges across all livestock, not just goats, but goats has the greatest need.

The school is not only for new judges, but can help people who already do livestock judging in enhancing skills and improving areas where they are weak.

The judging school deals with evaluation of sheep and goats as show animals and market carcasses.

“That’s one of the beauties of a judging school like this, you see the animal live and then on the rail,” Schmidt said. Participants will also judge fitting and showing and breeding stock, learn the role of the judge as an educator, discuss packer expectations, show ring procedures, ethics in the show ring and other topics. Once the school is complete, participants have the option of having their names listed on websites for those looking for judges.

The other track during the two-day event is the show management track. This is for anyone who sets up or helps set up animal shows or jackpots. Topics include financial management and accounting of market livestock sales, fair biosecurity and emergency management, livestock handling procedures, youth quality assurance programs, selecting and hiring qualified livestock judges, fair management software, show ring procedures, expectations of animal buyers and more.

“The idea is to help provide information to be useful to them,” Schmidt said.

While neither is mandatory to be a judge or show manager, the event is useful and beneficial. And better judges and show management make it better for youth.

“Ultimately, we want it to be a better experience for the kids,” Schmidt said.

This event is sponsored by WSU Extension, the UI Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and the UI Department of Agriculture and Extension Education. The registration fee of $150 per person is requested by April 25. The registration fee includes two lunches, one dinner, refreshments and course materials. Register early to secure a spot. For more information and to register contact Schmidt, WSU Whitman County Extension, at 509-397-6290.


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