S.E. Livestock Judging Team Competes Under Big Tex’s Watchful Eye


Alan Been

S.E. Judging Team nest to “The Champ”

Lynnsey Mahler, Writer

Chasing the rising sun, Springlake-Earth’s livestock judging team left at five in the morning on Monday to judge at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. While there, they got good experience and helpful practice. 

“Livestock judging is a pretty competitive event,” junior Slade Beerwinkle said. “It’s all about experience.” 

Slade’s mom, Sarah Weldon, also knows the importance of this contest and the hard work it requires.  

“Livestock judging is a good skill to learn. It involves skills like analyzing and teamwork. I enjoy hearing about the trips and how they improve each time,” Weldon said.  

The livestock judgers made a long trip to compete.  

“We left at five o’ clock Monday morning, and we got to Dallas about 11:30. Check in to compete was at 12:30,” sophomore Braileigh Goe said. “Then, we went to the fair, looked for something to eat, and then met back at the front. After that they told us rules and the classes and we judged from two to five.”

Goe enjoyed the trip, although she dreaded waking up before the sun.

“I hated waking up so early, but it was worth it to go judge. At least I got to sleep almost the whole way there, so it kind of made up for waking up at four in the morning,” B. Goe said.  

Although the team woke up at such an unseemly hour, they were very successful and made big strides.  

“I did better than last time,” B. Goe said. “I especially did better in steers, and even pigs, although I hate them.”

Goe was especially proud of her improvement for one big reason.

“By far, the best part of the trip was finding out I beat Reiner,” B. Goe said.  

Beerwinkle’s favorite part of the trip held a slightly different point of view.  

“My favorite of the trip was eating at Saltgrass,” Beerwinkle said. 

Although his food-driven motivation might have been questionable, Beerwinkle was looking forward to the trip.  

“I was very excited, especially because I got to spend time with my good buddy, Reiner Goe,” Beerwinkle said. 

Beerwinkle looks forward to spending time with the youngest of the team, Reiner Goe, particularly because of the relationships he had with former S.E. students and livestock judgers such as Katy Jones, Clayton Stevenson, and Slade’s older sister, Sayler Beerwinkle.  

“They challenged me,” Beerwinkle said. “We had competitions between ourselves to see who could do the best and that made me better.” 

Beerwinkle’s predecessors helped him to be very successful, and he continues to improve at every event.  

“There were many things I improved on, but if I had to choose one, I think I did pretty good on the pigs except for one class,” Beerwinkle said.  

The judgers all have advice that has helped them, but Beerwinkle takes his straight from the boss himself. 

As far as advice, I’m going to say what Mr. Been would: don’t make it any harder than it is, judge them as they are, and what you do or don’t do today, will affect what you do or don’t do tomorrow.”

— Slade Beerwinkle

“As far as advice, I’m going to say what Mr. Been would: don’t make it any harder than it is, judge them as they are, and what you do or don’t do today, will affect what you do or don’t do tomorrow,” said Beerwinkle.

Goe’s biggest piece of advice also came from Mr. Been, and is very practical.

“If you go to a show, listen to what the judges say and why they placed the way they did,” R. Goe said. “It tells you what to look for in an animal from someone who does it at majors and really knows what they are talking about.”

Goe takes his competition very seriously, especially when it comes to his number one goal.

“Before the year is over, I want to beat Slade. It probably won’t happen but it is something to hope for,” R. Goe said.  

Goe also enjoys judging with Beerwinkle, most of the time.

“Slade is kind of annoying but livestock judging wouldn’t been the same without him,” R. Goe said.”

Goe’s judging strong suit comes from his seven-year stock showing dedication.

“My best animal to judge is lambs because I’ve shown them for years,” R. Goe said. 

While the sibling rivalry does run deep, Braileigh and Reiner Goe share lots in common when it comes to judging.  

“My favorite animals to judge are lambs,” B. Goe said. “I show them, so I know what to look for.” 

Her low point is one every person on the judging team exhibits.  

“I hate pigs. First off, it doesn’t matter how much help I get, I just don’t know what to look for,” B. Goe said. “Secondly, I don’t have anything to do with pigs, so I have no clue what is ideal.”   

Goe shared her own important advice for judging.

“The number one thing to keep in mind is to not second guess yourself,” B. Goe said. “It does not matter how much you think you’re wrong, don’t change your answer because you’ll have a better chance of getting it right with your first answer. I do it all the time. I’ll have an animal in first place and end up moving it to second only to miss the cuts because I second guessed myself.” 

All in all, the team did very well. Kysen Hall, a junior and former livestock judger gave his advice for the team as they compete through the rest of the year.  

“I miss livestock judging. I enjoyed it,” Hall said. “My advice for the team is definitely to study those questions. Also, they should study feeder and slaughter cattle because those tend to be the hardest.” 

The livestock team was very successful at the Texas State Fair, and will continue to be through the rest of the year with hard work and perseverance.  

“This year’s team has a lot to live up to and they can get there if they’ll show a lot of interest and focus during practices contest.  I’m proud to have a kid on the judging team,” Weldon said.