The LBCC Livestock Judging team continues to dominate their 2017 campaign with impressive performances in their last four competitions.
The team won both the Big Fresno Fair and Colorado State Ram Classic on Oct. 21, claimed a top ten finish in Louisville for the North American International Livestock Exposition on Nov. 15, and put up an emphatic victory in their most recent event, The Cattle Contest, on Nov. 19 in Chico California.
“It’s been a tremendous fall from a competitive standpoint. The kids have worked extremely hard,” said coach Rick Klampe.
In the Cattle Contest held in Chico, California, an event that only focused on beef, the team delivered a clean sweep of the competition placing first in the overall team rankings, first in the placings category, and first in oral reasons. The team also had the first overall individual in the contest, with Bailey Samper winning her second competition of the year. They also grabbed all of the top five spots, and saw seven students in the top 10.
“Top five individuals, seven in the top 10, I mean it was just kind of a good old fashioned butt whipping,” said Klampe.
This was off of the back of an impressive showing at the North American International Livestock Exposition, in Louisville, Kentucky. In the event which featured 24 teams from across the nation, LBCC finished top 10 in three of the five main categories, including a second place finish in swine, an eighth place finish in oral reasons, and a ninth place finish overall.
In addition to the solid team outing, the individual portion of the competition saw the team claim top 10 finishes in all categories except for sheep, with Samper winning ninth overall.
Klampe emphasized how much of a competitive year it has been at the national level, stating that nearly every team competing is capable of winning.
“I’ve been coaching for 29 years and this is about as deep of a group as it gets. Generally there are 25 schools at these national contests and this year there are about 15 capable of winning,” said Klampe.
You could be top five one week, then fifteenth the next, with the same set of kids in a different contest.”
Klampe put the Louisville competition into perspective and felt that it was a good sign for future competitions.
“They’re talented enough to win at the national level but weren’t lucky enough that day. We had a couple of mental mistakes but I’m extremely proud of a top 10 finish because those are really hard to come by this year.
“Two mental mistakes fixed and we’re fifth, that’s how minimal the margin for error is,” said Klampe.
Klampe also said he was extremely proud of how the team performed in the hogs category in Louisville because the team has made an emphasis on pigs when they go out on the road due to the lack of pig ranches in Oregon.
”There are more pigs in most counties in the Midwest then there are in the whole state of Oregon, so we’re at a disadvantage when it comes to judging hogs,” said Klampe.
The 2017 season also saw the team pulling off something they had never done in program history, winning two events on the same day.
On Saturday, Oct. 21 the team split into two groups. Klampe took the sophomores to Fort Collins, Colorado for the Colorado State Ram Classic, while coach Clay Weber took a few sophomores and the freshmen to a contest at the Big Fresno Fair in Fresno, California.
“The reason for splitting is because we knew that the sophomores were pretty good so we wanted to give them deeper competition,” said Klampe.
In Colorado the team won every category except for oral reasons, where they finished second. In the individual competition, Samper won first, Madison Morgan claimed second, and Jared Wolf finished 3rd with two more team members finishing in the top 10. The team also had top 3 finishes in all categories including wins from Morgan in beef and Samper in Sheep.
In Fresno the team swept the team categories with wins in all categories and top three finishes in all of the individual categories, as well as a win by Brooke Hopfer in swine.
Samper, who has finished in the top 10 in all of the teams events this season, reflected on the successes the team has had in 2017.
“The success the team has had wouldn’t have happened without the coaching of Mr. Weber and Mr. Klampe. They are fantastic coaches and mentors and helped put our team in a position to succeed. Everyone on the team has been pushing each other to be the best that we can be, while still remembering that we are teammates and friends before competitors,” said Samper.
“This year I’ve had a great time competing and representing Linn-Benton and contests all over the country. Judging has opened many doors for me regarding my future education and career opportunities, along with blessing me with lifelong friends. Seeing my hard work pay off in success at contests is great motivation to keep working harder to get better, but more importantly the memories I’ve made with my teammates and the wild adventures I’ve been on is what I cherish most and what I’ll remember from my time here at LB.”
The team has two remaining events on the docket with a possibility for more contests as well. They will travel to Phoenix, Arizona for the Arizona National Livestock Show on Dec. 31. Then they will get ready for the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado on Thursday, Jan. 11.
Story by Joshua Stickrod