Wilmington College had its annual livestock contest at the Champions Center on Wednesday —an event billed as the largest of its kind east of the Mississippi.
Hundreds of public school students — many of whom are members of an FFA chapter — from all over Ohio and some from Indiana traveled to Springfield to compete in the contest. It was the 59th annual show Wilmington College has conducted.
The contest helps put Wilmington College students into a role of producers to help them in their careers, said Meghan Bruns, president of the Wilmington College Aggies.
“The purpose of this is to basically put these students into a producer’s shoes to be able to judge the animal off their qualities and genetic differences,” she said. “It’s to pose scenarios that they will experience as producers if they stick in the agriculture industry,” Bruns said.
The livestock judging contest is one of the most popular such attractions in the country and typically among the first competitions of the year.
The contest represents real-life application and a hands-on learning experience for both the high school students and Wilmington College agriculture students who stage the event.
“We take pride in hands-on learning aspect,” Burns said of the agriculture education.
The top five finishers in each of the four categories that were judged Wednesday won awards.