Jenna Hasekamp, a member of the Audrain County F&L Hustlers 4-H Club, is helping to pioneer Missouri community College teams’ participation at livestock judging contests.
This fall, Hasekamp will join North Central Missouri College’s livestock judging team, which started last fall and is currently the only Missouri community college team competing in livestock judging.
“Jenna is looking forward to helping this team better their skills and knowledge and build a reputation,” says Maria Calvert, University of Missouri Extension state 4-H agriculture and natural resources educator.
After completing her coursework at NCMC, Hasekamp plans to transfer to MU to earn a degree in animal sciences.
Sitting on the sidelines of a show ring as a 4-H Clover Kid sparked her livestock judging interest. After watching others show livestock and listening to the judges give critiques, she would go home and evaluate her family’s cattle.
When a club volunteer approached her about participating in livestock judging as a 4-H project, she thought it sounded cool and decided to try it. The summer before seventh grade, she competed in her first livestock judging contest at the Audrain County Fairgrounds, where she judged classes of cattle, swine, sheep, and goats.
“The more I practiced, the better I got,” Hasekamp said. She has competed every year since then. In 2020 she was part of the Missouri 4-H team that competed at the American Royal National and the National Western Stock Show contests.
She credits 4-H with offering opportunities to try various things and develop leadership skills such as public speaking. “I can go into a classroom and speak to youth about agriculture, something I am very passionate about, and 4-H started that for me. A lot of the things you use in your daily life you will learn in 4-H.”
Hasekamp encourages younger members to “go out and try something new. If you are on edge about wanting to try something or not, go out and try it.”