Students attending the National Western Stock Show in Denver January 21 will have an opportunity to test their bison knowledge-and to compete for $4,600 in college scholarship money-at the annual National Bison Association Junior Judging Contest. See all the details here.
    
Contestants in the competition will judge four to five classes of bison that will be selected by the National Western Stock Show Bison Superintendent. Points will be awarded based upon the contestant's ability to evaluate the classes. Additional points will be awarded for each participant's Oral Reasons  presentation.
    
The first place contestant will receive a $1,500 scholarship donated by the National Buffalo Foundation. Rocky Mountain Buffalo Association has donated $1,200 for the scholarship for the second place contestant, and Rocky Mountain Natural Meats has donated $900 for a scholarship to the third-place contestant. Three additional scholarships will be awarded to other students placing in the contest.
    
The competition is open to students from ages 8-21, and registration for the competition is simple and free. Participants not accompanied by their parents will need to bring with them a letter from their parent, FFA adviser, or 4-H leader stating that the participant is academically eligible (passing all classes).
    
Gerald Parsons, DVM, of Oklahoma, who will serve as the primary judge for the contest, noted, "With the growing popularity of bison, customers are looking for top quality meat. Successful producers become skilled at being able to judge quality by looking at the live animal. Those are the skills we want to instill in our Junior Judging Contest."
    
Students may obtain more information on the contest and can register to participate by contacting National Bison Association Assistant Director Jim Matheson at [email protected].
    
The Junior Judging contest is being conducted in conjunction with the annual National Bison Association Gold Trophy Show and Sale, which runs January 21-23 in the Yards at the National Western Stock Show. The association's annual Gold Trophy Auction will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24th, with a carcass sale auction at 10 a.m. Learn more at www.bisoncentral.com.