Congratulations Hansford County 4-H Reserve Champs!
2016 National Western Reserve champions
2016 National Western Reserve champions
by Bret Burgin


The Hansford County 4-H livestock judging team was named the Reserve Champion team at the 110th National Western Stock Show held in Denver January 8. The team earned the right to represent Texas at this prestigious event by placing second at the State Competition held last June. Twenty-six teams from the US and Canada competed.

All of the four team members placed in the top 11 out of 102 individuals qualifying for the contest. Their overall individual ranking was as follows; Jaci Burgin 2nd place, Payton Harrel 5th, Jon Crowl 9th, and Kaitlyn Stedje 11th. This strong finish was highlighted by the team winning the Oral Reasons division of the competition. Individually, the reasons scores were; Jaci 2nd, Payton 3rd, Kaitlyn 5th, and Jon 9th. It is extremely rare to see a team have four of the top nine in reasons at a national contest. The highest species placing was in the swine division. The Texas team nailed down 2nd with Jon’s 2nd, Payton’s 5th, and Jaci’s 9th place finishes making up the score. Identical 3rd place team finishes came in the cattle and sheep divisions. Individually, Jaci was 4th in sheep and 5th in cattle, Payton placed 10th in sheep, and Kaitlyn won 10th in cattle. The weakest team placing came with a 10th in goats, with Jaci being the only member to place in the top ten at 7th place.

We kicked off our Denver workout on New Year’s Day at Stillwater, Ok, and spent the week working out in 5 states along the way. We worked out with the Hawaii and North Dakota teams at the University of Wyoming. Winning Reserve Champion took a lot of time, dedication, commitment, and miles, but the in the end the hard work was well worth it. Along with the plaques and ribbons comes an invitation to compete at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh, Scotland in June.

The team is coached by Bret Burgin, Nick Slough, and CEA Andrew Sprague plus they received help and guidance from countless former Hansford County 4-H judges.

The final top ten team placings and point totals were:
1. Indiana 2505
2. Texas 2466
3. Iowa 2397
4. South Dakota 2382
5. Kansas 2347
6. Minnesota 2334
7. Montana 2333
8. Virginia 2333
9. Florida 2329
10. Illinois 2322

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