Livestock Teams: Determined to Be Best

Purdue Agriculture is an internationally recognized name for good reason. However, the essence of a Boilermaker is not the awards they achieve, but the determination to constantly improve.

photo of The 1913 Purdue Judging Team and coaches.

The 1913-14 Purdue Judging Team and coaches.

In 1913, Purdue students had the first opportunity since 1901 to participate in the judging contest of the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. A team was thrown together, leaving the students no time to prepare. Even so, Purdue finished third overall. Although impressive, this ranking simply motivated the Purdue team to do more.

Success followed as Purdue’s livestock judging team won the “International” contest in 1916, 1920 and several more times over the years. Most recently, the 2014 team claimed its national championship at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.

 “The men who were on the 1913 team are by no means satisfied with themselves because of their relatively high ranking, wrote an animal husbandry student in the 1914 Purdue Agriculturist. “They believe, however, that they have made a good beginning and hope next year will see Purdue represented by a team of such ability that no competition, however strong, will be able to force it lower than first place.”

It’s that thinking that drives all Boilermaker teams even today.

 — by Hannah Tucker (Purdue ’18) and Allan Goecker

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