West River Judging turns 50 this weekend
By Chris Erickson
The West River Judging Contest has long been the go-to, in-depth, last contest of the regular judging year to bring members of 4-H and FFA one more experience before the state contest. Organizers have long held that this wouldn’t have ever been possible without the hard work of dedicated volunteers throughout the decades of contest and many, many additions it has seen.
Extension Agent Craig Askim has been working with the contest for more than a decade, and in that time he’s seen the addition of Ag. Sales and Hippology help fill out the contest, which started as livestock-only.
“Before it was just a Crops and Livestock contest,” Askim said. “The number of kids in the Ag. Sales contest has increase from a very small contest in the beginning to over 15 teams last year.”
He said the overall contest was one that coaches looked forward to as much as participants.
“The coaches call me back in September asking the date for our contest, many coaches want to come to West River, because I feel they know the contest will be well organized and run correctly,” he said. “Many judges call me early in the fall also to make sure they get the date on their planners.”
He added that the main goal for any judging team was to be at the top of their game for the state contests.