UT Livestock Judging Team

The University of Tennessee has a rich tradition in Livestock Judging. Dating back to their 1962 National Championship performance, UT still carries the tradition today. Livestock Judging enables students to understand the many different aspects of production livestock. Students enhance their public speaking skills as well as their evaluation skills for livestock. UT currently attends eight contest per year. Four in the spring which include: NWSS, Denver, Colorado; Dixie National, Jackson, Mississippi; Houston Livestock Show, Houston, Texas; and the All East Contest which rotates each year. Students will also travel to four contest in the fall semester. Starting with National Barrow Show, in Austin, Minnesota; Keystone International, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; American Royal, Kansas City, Missouri; and NAILE, hosted in Louisville, Kentucky. Livestock Judging is open to all who wish to participate, and not just limited to Animal Science majors. It is recommended that students are a junior standing when they start the team. Students who wish to join the team should take ANSC 360 in order to become eligible.  


2017 UT LJT Updates

The 2017 Livestock Judging Team has migrated their way back to Rocky Top after just a few short months of break. Summer was a busy time for the team. Morgan Cox (Philadelphia,TN), worked for Smoky Mountain Farm with a variety of tasks along with taking summer classes. Katlyn Hardin (Lexington, TN), worked part time at Tractor Supply along with daily tasks on her family’s farm. Katilyn Lewter (Fayetteville, TN), worked at the UT Veterinarian School assisting in various areas as well as taking summer classes. Margo Sweeney (Thurmont, MD), worked with Mountain Gate Family Restaurant as well as taking summer classes and coaching her local 4H judging team in Maryland. Haley Webb (Rogersville, TN), worked as camp staff at Clyde Austin 4H Center in Greenville, TN. Cassie Womack (Pleasant Plains, AR), visited Chile for the summer working in the Ecela Program. Throughout the program she took classes and developed an appreciation for the different cultural aspects of the Country.

Along with summer jobs and classes the team also helped host the annual UT Livestock Judging Camp on July 28-30th. With 31 students from 5 different states, the camp flourished and was certainly a great learning opportunity for high school students. Additionally we would like to thank the following for their support of the camp: UT Animal Science, East Tennessee Research and Education Center (Dr. Bobby Simpson and Mr. Brandon Beavers), Mr. Thomas Greenlee, Martin Boer Goats (Martin Family), W Bar Farms (Witherspoon Family), Ingram Family and Edwards Club Lambs (Edwards Family). These families/organizations provided livestock in order to make camp successful and we cannot thank them enough.

During the fall semester, the 2017 LJT will travel to competitions ranging from Grand Island, NE for the Aksarben; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for Keystone International; Kansas City, Missouri for American Royal; and Louisville, Kentucky for the North American. Be sure to stay tuned on the Livestock Judging Team’s website, and Facebook page for updates throughout the fall. Watch for the quarterly LJT newsletter via email. If you are interested in supporting the team simply call/email Zach Bartenslager at (865) 974-5068 or zbartens@utk.edu


Go Vols! 


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Ten Reasons Why You Should Become a Member of the Livestock Judging Team

  1. Travel the United States 
  2. Meet prestigious livestock producers from all over
  3. Evaluate some of the nation's top livestock
  4. Become a better evaluator
  5. Ability to make logical decisions
  6. Enhance your public speaking skills
  7. Build your resume
  8. Make new friends and relationships
  9. A fun way to be involved
  10. Bring success to yourself and the College


Contact Information 

Zach Bartenslager

Zach Bartenslager
2506 River Drive
268 Brehm Animal Science Building
Knoxville, Tennessee   37996
(865) 974-5068  


Support Us 

If you would like to support the Livestock Judging Team, consider a gift through UT Foundation. Use this direct link for your gift.  


2017 Team Spotlight Member

Image of Katilyn Lewter, Team Spotlight Member


Name:  Katilyn Lewter

Major:  Animal Science, Pre-Vet Concentration

Rank: Junior

Hometown: Fayetteville, Tennessee


Goals after UT:
After graduation I hope to attend Veterinary Medicine School and where I can gain the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career working with Large Animals.


Favorite Contest thus far:
My favorite contest was Houston. I have always wanted to travel to Texas, and being able to do so while also visiting high quality operations in the area to practice our evaluation skills was a once in a lifetime experience. Throughout the trip, I learned more about the livestock industry than I ever have in the classroom setting in my three years here at UT, and I know that will only benefit me in my future endeavors.

Favorite Memory of LJT:
My favorite memory of this year would have to be participating as a mentor at our annual judging camp. I’ve always enjoyed passing my knowledge down to those who are younger than me, so being able to teach the youth of Tennessee the skills I had learned from my experiences was very rewarding.


“What lies behind us and what lied before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."​