To what standards do we hold judges?

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red

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This is actually from another board. Someone asked about a judge & if he was any good. It was said yes but they thought he was a bit flamboyant(?). Now, take that for what you want, I don't want to discuss personal preferences. Another brought up something his parents did when he was probably in high school.
My question, do we hold our judges up to certain standards? I have no problem w/ a person's personal life as long as they are good, fair & honest judge. From what I understand this judge is & actually makes the shows entertaining.
Myself, I have more problems when we have judges that have been convicted of ethics violations & they judge. Not sure what message that sends our kids.
I hope I'm not opening a big can of worms here, but just curious on thoughts? No slandering of names or comments on a person's lifestyle but I think knowing this group we can have a good discussion.

Red
 

genes

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I don't really know many of the judges I've had personally, so I don't think it's really come into it.  But personally, I would judge them on how they judge in the ring, and if it's a junior show, on how they treat the kids.  However, if they have done something bad enough to receive discipline (or bad enough that they should have had people been on the ball) as a shower or in other aspects of showing, then no, I probably wouldn't invite them.
 

knabe

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personally, i would like to see the judges get a little more excited, particularly when they see some sound, functional females.  they can get awful drony sometimes.  i realize that a show is about placing animals that will supposedly help distill what direction things should be going, and therefore affect compensation for those animals, but it could be a little more entertaining.

some of the monologue sounds like an american idol contestant with a range of about 2 notes.  i hold a judge up to the standard that they should be a source of inspiration, knowledge, manners, professionalism, decorum, principled, not afraid to point out differences in applicablility of animals in front of him and point it out clearly, particularly when there is two very different indivdiuals at the top.  a while ago someone mentioned we shouldn't be breeding for fixing the intermediate type (steery heifers) in our breeding stock and the direction that will lead to.  i agree with that, and i think judges should be more hypercritical in their evaluations about that.  insert scott's comment about being careful not to buy bulls from someone with better feed than you.  would like to see them project their experience of the pasture in their reasons, rather than the feedbunk. 

finally, i like to give people more chances than i would myself to redress themselves.  we all fall short, we project in others our own faults, but hold them to a higher standard.  i feel that's unfair.
 

afhm

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With the way most shows end up , I wonder if there are any standards at all.  It seems as if almost anybody can judge a show anymore.  The political end of things seem to be getting worse than ever.  You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.  You went to the same college as me so you win.  You were the one who got me the judging job, your calf wins.  Too many of these judges are still looking at things with judging team philosophies.  They can't see the forest for the trees.  They contradict themselves terribly with their reasons and their placings.  They can't see through the hair, fit jobs, or past the show halter and they really get in trouble if there is more than 4 head in the class.  IMO there should be more real world judges and less "educated" university type judges.  I have seen many Judges that never showed a calf judging shows.  Others that didn't have a clue what a good one waswhen they were showing that all of a sudden they got a job with a prominent ranch and they are suppose to be a great judge.  I have seen some of these "sought after" judges belittle a kid in the show ring or beat animals that have been winning everywhere just because they could, or because they didn't like the kids parents, fitter, breeder of the calf and wanted to try and settle a score.  There are animals that have been beaten to help others in point standings and for personal gains.  Sorry for the rants but there are some pretty pitiful and rude judges out there anymore.
 

DL

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One of the best judges I've seen at a county fair was convicted of a crime and spent time in "behind bars" - he was excellent with the kids, really knew cattle, was excited and animated and did a heck of a good job. He has also spends  time talking to kids and college students regarding the particular issue (illegal use of drugs in livestock). He has paid his dues, he knows cattle, he is an excellent judge - I would sure rather see him judge than the old cronies - look at the picture of the  ch female - see the man at the halter, see the judge, now look at the next show -  look at the picture of the  ch female - see the man at the halter,  see the judge, see how they have switched places `~ now isn't that special ???
 

chambero

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I saw the post you were referring to.

The public knows a lot about that particular guy because of that family's important role in the development of prospect livestock shows in Texas.   We've seen him grow up since he was practically an infant.  In my opinion, they fit in the category of having done a lot more good than bad for a very, very long time.  I make no attempt to explain that opinion or justify it, but its my opinon.  One of those gray areas.  I know him and his family and he's never been anything but nice and professional to me - for years.  There aren't many down here who've shown for 20-30 years that are perfectly qualified to "cast the first stone".

He certainly knows cattle, is good at working with kids, and wants to do it - which is all of the qualifications one needs to be a judge in my opinion - especially at prospect shows and breed-sponsored shows.  I'll leave it up to the executives of the major livestock shows to make their decisions about other requirements and qualifications for their shows.

We don't know much about most judges at all.  Frankly, their personal lives and backgrounds aren't any of our business.  There have been judges who've gone bankrupt in the cattle business, cheat on their wives, etc, etc - just like the rest of society.  We should just be appreciative they are willing to do a job they get often criticized for.

We overestimate the importance of showing in the grand scheme of things.  Who the judge is doesn't have a dramatic effect on your kids life.  

I got burned once trying to take the high road and it cost me at a very personal level.  Never again - because I "didn't know what I didn't know".  I had a good friend who as an assistant coach who got a DWI.  Our head coaching job came up.  I refused to publicly support him because in my opinion that incident "disqualified" him from leading young men.  You can guess what my friend thought of me for that.  It gets ugly, the big picture "policy" comes up for debate at the school board, and to my shock - the whole community finds out that if we established such a criteria for hiring/firing we would cripple the school becauase we have a list of teachers a mile long that would have to be in turn fired because they had the same offences on their records.  There is so much we don't know about people given jobs of responsibility.  Livestock judge is so far down the list of importance it doesn't even warrant consideration.
 

red

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I just knew you folks would do me proud!
Great responses so far!

Makes me proud to part of this group!!!

(welcome)

Red
 

Chap

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as a person who judges some junior shows in the state and local levels, I think we all have a tendancy to be very critical of those in the ring evaluating the cattle.  i admit that when i view a show, I don't always agree with the judge and I am sure the same can be said when others are watching me.   I expect hold others to the same standards that I hold myself to.  1) Evaluate the animals as you see them TODAY. 2) Talk the differences and explain your decisions 3) Remember to talk to/about youth and family, as they are the only 2 things that really make this whole program possible.

I often use the statement when criticizing an animal that I am being very critical on a really good calf, same holds true for the people that evaluate them.  We typically hear of the politics being displayed at the major shows and it figures.  The majors have the most at stake, with the most influential contestants, exhibiting the highest dollar, most prestigious, highly presented  animals, that they have incredible investments in.  it is the super bowl and is therefore under the largest microscope.   How many of you remember the rotten call in that preseason football game 4 years ago?  But I bet everyone can remember a time in a playoff game or super bowl where a ref made a bad call at a bad time.  
 

red

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After reading some of these other boards that bash & gripe about ever judges choice, I'm sure it takes a special kind of person to judge period!
One person's choice is never going to make everyone happy but a select few. I feel bad when I read fixed or rigged shows, belly aching & sore losers. I certainly hope that the majority of the judges are very ethical.
I guess my biggest wake up was when Randy Daniels judged AGR at Ohio. Most were saying he didn't know good cattle. Imagine my surprise when I saw his sale catlog. Some of the best cattle I've seen in a group. Just shows you can't believe everything said. Did wish he had a better presence in the ring. But then when a judge does have a good presence, he's still bashed!
Can't win for losing sometimes!

Red
 

knabe

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i'm kinda sensitive about the dui thing.  my family has several generations of alcholism, severe alcholism.  i would suggest reading the following website before labeling those convicted as drunkdrivers as banished.  of course i don't know the blood level of the person involved, but drunk driving is the most common offense in my county.  i've been on jury duty 3 times, never sat.  all three times were less than 0.1.  one time it was 0.083  in CA the limit is 0.08.  each time, if i sat, i would have set them free.

notice section on rolaids and the autobrewerey syndrome.  and the tobacco section.

http://www.duiblog.com/

i guess i should mention i have no drunk driving stops.
 

chambero

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That was just an example I used of where I in error thought something was clearly "black and white" and learned in a hurry it wasn't.  One of several "life lessons" that make me more willing to look at both sides of every store and to be very cautious about being too judgemental about past errors.
 

j3cattleco

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The number one thing that drives me nuts about showing cattle is "When in doubt frame them out!"  I get so tired of losing classes to monsters.  I guess the other thing that I wish is that more real cattlemen would judge and less university types.  We have gotten to where if we see it's a university guy sometimes we won't go just because I refuse to show monsters and I also refuse to make my show heifers as fat as steers.
 

red

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Following w/ your post j3cattle- it also encourages people to false date their calves. I don't know how many times I've been drawfed or out weighed by calves that are the same "age" class as mine but weigh upwards to 200 pounds more. Bulls are the worst when your showing a young bull againist those that have at least 2" on their scrotum. And I normally don't raise runts!
Sometimes it seems that we encourage our youth to cheat to win at all costs. I'm showing more in the cross bred classes where you go by hip heights rather than age.

Red
 

DL

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(this might be unpopular but....)

I like my cows
I like my heifer calves
Buyers like my cows
Buyers like my calves
I don't really care what other people think
I certainly don't care what a judge thinks
Probably explains why I don't show
;D

I think in many cases it has gotten out of control - had a friend who was escorted to her car after placing the class - the loosers father went home to get his shotgun; parents following judges around yelling and screaming at them (great example, eh?); people accusing judges of all sorts of things - judges will never make everyone happy and likely need think skin....I would hope that they pick the best animal that day, explain why they did it, be respectful of the kids - especially the kids at the bottom, and not be testy....I also think they should be sober when they judge....
 

knabe

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thinking of the cape buffalo getting the lion, the rest of the herd should make sure that guy doesn't show up anymore.  dl, i like your comments on the bottom of the class.

kids go to learn, and they should have the opportunity to learn up and down the class.  i understand some classes are large, but i think judges could help the newbies out more which would do a few things.  more people would be buying better cattle, forcing seedstock producers to produce an overall better product, rather than the great one, the shows would change to reflect that, perhaps function would carry a little more weight.

perhaps my biggest complaint about showing in general is how hard it is to get past the "mystery" of why you do or select for what.  kind of reminds me of the current state of our republic.

i would like it if judges would focus a little less on comparing pairs of animals, and comment a little more about the diversity of the entire class.  this would help the newbies learn a little bit about what they are seeing in the class in front of them rather than at susie and why she placed higher. and perhaps since size seems to be a big issue now, that they could elaborate a little more about this in their reasons, or make a comment to deemphasize it as people can't have all their calves born on the same day for whatever reason.

i saw a couple examples of this at the western expo in paso robles this year where the judge was contrasting the styles of females in the class, the showsteer females, and the funtional females.  i did a survey of some of the steer momma's by asking them their breeding.  all were meyer, heat seeker, etc.  these types far outnumbered the funtional types, and was disappointing.  the judges pointed this out with enthusiasm for the funtional type repeatedly.  the judges really liked the freer moving equal front and back moving cattle.  nice to see the "in my opinion" market heifers get docked a little.

it must be tough to come up with these rationalizations as a judge that will generate genuine positive feedback from exhibitors who don't place high and really are looking for help in selecting their animals, in addition to the fun, learning experience, etc of showing.
 

Clubcalfshowgirl

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dragon lady said:
(this might be unpopular but....)

I like my cows
I like my heifer calves
Buyers like my cows
Buyers like my calves
I don't really care what other people think
I certainly don't care what a judge thinks
Probably explains why I don't show
;D

I think in many cases it has gotten out of control - had a friend who was escorted to her car after placing the class - the loosers father went home to get his shotgun; parents following judges around yelling and screaming at them (great example, eh?); people accusing judges of all sorts of things - judges will never make everyone happy and likely need think skin....I would hope that they pick the best animal that day, explain why they did it, be respectful of the kids - especially the kids at the bottom, and not be testy....I also think they should be sober when they judge....




Yes i  believe if a judge can give you reasons why he placed a calf over the 3x grand champion (ended up 3rd at this show) And not just grouping a set of 3 calves and saying these are the same this next group is the same AND  actually giveing indivial reasons then i'm ok with it but i cant stand when they dont have any reasons they just group 3-4 calves together as a group and say stuff as the "group"
 

DLD

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Very few people, livestock show judges included, can come out clean if you examine their whole lives under a microscope.
I think we have to base our opinion of a person as a livestock judge on how well they evaluate livestock and how well they can explain why they place them and on how they present themselves and interact with the exhibitors, especially young people, in the ring. Very few judges score well on all four of those points, much less considering mistakes they've made in their past or speculation about their personal life.

Regarding the person in question on the other board, I said he was a very good evaluator and worked well with the kids. I'd like to expand on that. 5 years ago this fall he judged the prospect show at our state fair. It was our oldest son's first state show, and he'd had a pretty rough fall. He'd  really been struggling with getting his steer shown at the several smaller shows we'd been to, and he was pretty discouraged. Finally at this one it all came together for him - the steer showed well, stood second in class in a really tough show, but most important of all was that this particular judge took the time to talk to him in class, and on the mic he complimented him on what a good job he was doing for such a little guy, and he reminded him of himself at that age and of how much work it was to be that size and show a big calf. I don't think Clay would've been any happier to have won the show than he was after that. (My avatar pic is from that day - shows you how little he was - remember that was just an 800# steer). Yeah, I know it's not all about my kid, but it's not just my kid - it's how this judge is, and it speaks very well of him, in my opinion.

Not negating any judges importance in the showring, but really they aren't bigger than life. They're just the people that were hired to give their opinion that day. In all honesty, there are probably alot of people that are more than capable of judging that have never had the opprotunity, and maybe never will.

 

Jill

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I don't mean to pick on Ryan, but he is what brought this conversation up, in my opinion there probably isn't a judge out there that doesn't have something in their life some of us wouldn't agree with, it just hasn't been so nationally publicised.

"100% agree, we have only shown under him once, but I would drive a long way to do so again, and if not show under him than to watch him do a set of reasons. In my opinion he is one of the top 10 judges in the country and I would place him at the very top for a set of reasons. I have never seen any other judge that can look at the crowd and give you his reasons for how a class was placed and not have to look back at the cattle, he is a pleasure to watch. Like Daniel stated, you don't have to agree with how he places his classes, but backs up every placing with the reason they are there, I appreciate that. Be ready for a fast moving show, he knows what he likes and places them that way. The winner will be sound and functional and placed on what they look like the day of the show, no guessing down the road. Enjoy, he is as good as they come."

"They are actually very good, just not as flamboyant. Ryan is just almost unbelievable on the microphone, it makes him great doesn't make the others bad, Vogel didn't ask about anyone else but him."

"That is certainly a narrow view of the world. I know I did things at 16 that I would really like the opportunity to go back and do again, and I would imagine for Ryan and his family that is one they would like to have the chance to do again.
I guess this should be a lesson in life for you younger kids out there, you don't get to have do overs in life, if you make a mistake it will be what you are known for, it will haunt you for the rest of your life.
What Ryan did or didn't do at 16 doesn't change the fact in my book that he is an incredible judge and is great with kids. If you have a problem with how he lives his life, that is your problem, not his."
Here are the 3 post I posted on the other board, the judge in question at that point was Ryan Rash.  I will say I am as conservative as they come and I don't agree with all of his choices in life, but it is his life, I don't have to agree with them, the person that posted was asking about his judging skills, not his personal life.  I used the term flamboyant not as a bad thing, but I meant he is expressive, he moves around has a good time, has yellow hair, he is just different in a fun kind of way.  I understand that what happened 12 years ago was wrong, I also understand that it changed the show industry, some for the better, but not in terms of public opinion.  I do feel at that time they were not the exception by any means that things of that nature were more common and they were made an example of because of who they were.  My point in this is, he was 16, you can murder someone at 16 and it doesn't go on your permanent record, at what point do we accept the fact that he (or someone) made a mistake and go on with life??
We need to accept the fact that our judges are people, they make mistakes, the are paid to evaluate cattle in the ring and hopefully mentor or be a leader for the juniors whose lives they come in contact with and that is the standard they should be held to.
 

Show Heifer

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Several thing in this conversation have begged me to speak!
First off, went to a junior show where the judge gave VERY GOOD, COMPLETE reasons on every calf. (Class size around 10). He also talked to the kids (You got your hands full with that one!......Nice halter.....etc small talk) Really made the kids relax. Well, of course that was great....until the PARENTS got impatient and started to complain the show was taking too long. So when word got to the judge, he smiled and placed the next class and said "This is the way I see them today. Thank you." Put the mic down and drank a pop. The PARENTS were OUTRAGED. "What the heck??....Why did he place that heifer first?.....That red heifer should've been buried...." and on and on.  After a few minutes, the judge got on the mic and said "Now that you have stated your opinion for free, may I earn my money and tell you why I placed them that way?" The PARENTS fell into a hush and let the judge explain.  I personally felt like standing and applauding!!
Another funny incident: After a small (but competetive and good pay-off) show, the judge again worked with the kids, and had made several commments about the parents instructing the kids, making the kids upset, etc.  While placing the final drive of heifers, he went to the mic and said, "Working with these kids have been a joy, and they should be complimented on their projects. No body is a loser here today. Not one. I think the parents need to realize this is a show, a learning experience. A time to have fun and work hard." And after a pause....he added, "The sad thing is about the youth programs today is the fact that there are too many 40 year old 4-Her's. I appreciate your cooperation today. And will now pick my champion heifer." With that he picked his champion. The parents were a bit mad, bit whiny, and a lot ashamed. After the judge picked his champion, and explained why....he got a standing ovation! Me included!

I hold the judges where they need to be, RIGHT WHERE I HOLD MY STANDARDS. I expect them to be fair, honest, and complete. I don't care if I agree as long as I can follow what he is looking for. Personal life is irrelevant, as long as it doesn't spill into the judging ring.

BUT, knabe, I respect your opinion on OWI, I just can't agree or let it go. Having lost a college roommate, good friend, AND a cousin (and those are just the ones I KNEW WELL, not the ones I just know) from drunk driving, I have NO tolerence for OWI. I used to think as some, that OWI is a harmless crime, and that .08 is just plain silly. But have your phone ring at 1 am to tell you there was an accident (hate that word- it IS NOT an accident, it was a CHOICE) and that your sidekick in chemistry lab is dead all because of someone's lack of self control, changes your opinion FAST.  Or how about getting a call at 5 am, telling you your cousin is dead and your uncle wasn't in "too good of emotional shape" and you are 600 miles away. Hows that for helpless reality?  And lets not forget the phone call I recieved at 4 pm from my college roommates sister. It was after the funeral and she hadn't realized I had not been notified. (2 years after college- lived 60 miles away-we still kept in touch). That drunk had hit my friend head on, killed her instantly and he walked away. His comment: "at least she didn't have a family or kids." Wow....he got probation, yet I would be in jail had I done what I wanted to (and he wouldn't have any more kids either!!) So, with that being said, I beg you not to tolerate OWI. How hard is it to get a driver, call a cab, or God forbid, just not drink if you have to drive??????  I actually enjoy being the DD (designated driver-- I feel great in the morning, can remember everything that happened, AND know that I just may have saved a life last night!!!) Try it,  you just might like it!!!!
Sorry about the soap box...but I just could not leave this unsaid.
 
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