The Riverton Parke High School Livestock Judging team, coached by Doug Edge and Adam Tyler, earned Reserve National Champion honors at the Western National Roundup contest on Jan. 12 in Denver.
Because of the team’s achievement, Riverton Parke was invited to attend the International Livestock Judging Contest and Tour, hosted by the Scottish Young Farmers, during the Royal Highlands Show in Edinburg, Scotland. The team will be raising funds to represent the United States at that event in June.
Team members are Cory Edge (a 2012 Riverton Parke graduate), juniors Matt Marion, Shelby Benell and Kelly Dressler, and freshman Megan Marion. The students earned the right to represent Indiana at the national contest when they captured second place in the Indiana State Judging Contest in June. The Panthers team took second place among teams from across the country. The Illinois team won the contest by 10 points, while Riverton Parke defeated teams from Colorado, Texas and Virginia to capture reserve champion honors.
The Riverton Parke team placed second in “Placings,” second in “Goats and Sheep,” fourth in “Swine and Beef” and fourth in “Oral Reasons.” Individually, Edge placed third overall, Matt Marion, seventh, and Shelby Benell was 11th. Edge and Marion both received $250 scholarships to Colorado State University.
The contest included 10 classes of livestock: four beef, two sheep, one goat and three swine. All of the classes were composed of four animals and provided to the contest by area producers. Contestants had to present oral reasons on six of the classes to defend their evaluations.
“Achieving the honor of being Reserve National Champions would not have been possible without the help of those who have helped coach and support the team,” said coach Doug Edge. “Those assisting in their training have included former Riverton Parke ag teacher Josh Douglass and current ag teacher and advisor Adam Tyler. A supportive school administration, parents and local business and farming community members have also contributed to building a successful livestock judging program at Riverton Parke.”
“I am very proud of the kids in our program,” Tyler said. We have a lot of talent, and to reach and earn an honor as they have is an amazing accomplishment.”