University of Nebraska-Lincoln Livestock Judging Team

L-R: Blaine French (Head Coach), Ainsley Fischer, Paige Trumble, Brantly Hoover, Hunter Johnson, Brett Forgy, Caleb Durheim, Heath Keiser, Donald Holupka, Sarah Tilley, Elizabeth Hodges, Maddie Schroeder (Assistant Coach)

2023 Livestock Judging Team
The livestock judging team is not only rich in tradition but more importantly, in preparing students for future career success. Each year, the UNL Livestock Judging Team visits over 60 of the top livestock operations in 15 states to prepare for national competitions. Currently, the team participates in 13 regional and national competitions throughout the year including the National Western Stock Show (Denver, CO), San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo (San Antonio, TX), Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (Houston, TX), American Royal (Kansas City, MO), and the National Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest held in conjunction with the North American International Livestock Exposition (Louisville, KY).

Workout stops include seeing some of the nation's best livestock and meeting many of the influential breeders and top management minds of elite livestock operations. Livestock judging team participation increases the visibility of the exceptional students that make up the Department of Animal Science at UNL. This in turn contributes directly to the UNL Department of Animal Science's job placement rate, of which, livestock judging team participation has proven to be a major placement factor.

Upon reviewing the history the UNL Livestock Judging Team, it is apparent that many of the most successful breeders and influential leaders in the livestock industry trace their roots back to participation on competitive livestock judging teams. Over 900 students have participated since the program began in 1908. The vast majority feel their livestock judging experience was highly influential on their development of critical thinking skills, speaking abilities and overall job placement potential. Students have obtained careers with Cargill, Elanco, Farm Credit, Land O'Lakes, First National Bank, and Pioneer just to name a few. Alumni consider their livestock judging team experience as beneficial as any college course or activity while completing their education at UNL.

The opportunity to participate on the livestock judging team exists for all University of Nebraska-Lincoln students regardless of major. The skills gained as a result of this experience will be of major benefit in any career.

Team History Wall of Fame Winners Unlimited Judging Camp Donate To Our Team

2024 Schedule

January 8-11 Cattleman's Congress/National Western Oklahoma City, OK Cattlemen's Congress:
9th High Team Overall
8th High Team Reasons
9th High Team Cattle
10th High Team Swine

Jaylea Pope- 5th High Individual Swine
Ashlyn Robinson- 8th High Individual Cattle

National Western:
8th High Team Swine
10th High Team Cattle

Carload Contest:
6th High Team Overall

Celilo Brun- 9th High Individual Overall

January 28 Sioux Empire Livestock Show Sioux Falls, S.D. Ashlyn Robinson- 11th High Individual Overall, High Individual Sheep/Goats, 8th High Individual Reasons
February 10 Iowa Beef Expo Des Moines, IA
4th High Team Overall
5th High Team Placings
5th High Team Reasons

Ashlyn Robinson- 11th High Individual Overall
Jaylea Pope- 5th High Individual Reasons
February 17 Nebraska Cattleman's Classic Kearney, NE
Ashlyn Robinson- 6th High Individual Overall, 5th High Individual Reasons
Jaylea Pope- 9th High Individual Reasons
Noah Summers- 6th High Individual Placings 
February 24 San Antonio Stock Show San Antonio, TX
5th High Team Overall
3rd High Team Goats
4th High Team Sheep
6th High Team Reasons

Jaylea Pope- 10th High Individual Goats, 16th High Individual Overall
March 11 Houston Stock Show Houston, TX
9th High Team Overall
7th High Team Swine
8th High Team Placings
9th High Team Cattle
9th High Team Reasons

Reid Richards- High Individual Placings
Tharyn Barker- 9th High Individual Sheep/Goats
April 11-13 Meat Animal Evaluation Contest Laramie, WY

* Fall Dates TBD

picture of Maddie Schroeder

Meet Our Interim Coach

I am Maddie Schroeder, interim Head Livestock Evaluation Coach for the Nebraska Livestock Judging Team. You can read more about our team history and what joining our team entails towards the top of the page. For more information, you can reach me at

Email Maddie Schroeder