Meet our Judges!

Beef Judges

Tim Schaeffer – Open Class Beef Judge

Tim Schaeffer from Hagerstown, Indiana. Tim owns and operates Schaeffer Show Cattle, along with his wife Emily and two sons, Braylen and Colyer. Tim runs over 250 head of multi-breed cattle. His operation focuses heavily on the junior show heifer market, extensive genetic sales, as well as, campaigning a strong lineup of maternal driven bulls for semen sales. With the Schaeffer Show Cattle team, he has been fortunate to campaign multiple national champion females and bulls within multiple breeds over the past 20 years. The last 8 years, Tim has judged multiple county fairs and state fairs, Kentucky Beef Expo and numerous other jackpots across the U.S. This year he looks forward to getting to sort livestock at the North American, World Beef Expo, North Dakota State Fair, as well as, Wyoming State Fair. Tim has a strong passion to build the best genetic combinations of breeding stock possible and the best tool for that is evaluating and judging them phenotypically.

Breck Debnam – Jr. Beef Judge

Breck Debnam from Madison, GA is the current herdsman at Innisfail Farm. They are a progressive Hereford seedstock operation utilizing the latest technologies available to best blend high-quality phenotype with curve bending genomic data. Prior to moving to GA, Breck was on the judging teams at Black Hawk East and Western Illinois University.

Parker Henley – 4-H/FFA Beef Judge

Parker is the Dr. Robert “Bob” Totusek Endowed Chair Fellow and the livestock judging team coach at Oklahoma State University. Parker and his wife Christy have a son named Norman and currently live in Stillwater, OK. He received his masters and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois while focusing his research on nutrition and management strategies for heifer and bull development systems. Parker was a member of the Judging Team at Butler Community College and Kansas State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Currently, along with coaching, Parker serves as an extension specialist focused on beef cattle management and youth livestock selection and education. Parker was raised in central Missouri where he and his family still raise Angus and Charolais cattle. Parker and his family have bred or exhibited 5 national or reserve national champion Charolais cattle. Parker coached the 2021 National Champion Livestock Judging Team and was named the “Coach of the Year.”

Dairy Judges

Jill (Marti) Nelson – Open Dairy Judge

Jill Nelson is the owner and operator of Olmar Farms Along with her husband, Brian. They have two adult children, Isaac and Joshua. Olmar Farms is located in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and is home to 150 Registered Holsteins. Jill’s family has been breeding registered Holsteins for nearly 80 years recently being awarded the “Elite Breeder Award”. This is the highest honor given by Holstein Association, USA to a herd which has significantly impacted the Holstein Breed.

Jill spent time working at ABS Global with International and domestic sales staff traveling throughout the country. She also spent time working in dairy cattle nutrition and consulting before bringing her family back to the farm. She has bred the herd to high type, production and longevity and has had successes up to the national level in the show circuit and in marketing genetics around the globe. The herd’s BAA is 110, making it the highest for herds over 130 cows. Their RHA is over 28,000 on 2x milking.

Jill has been judging since the age of 5. It has taken her around the world with opportunities to judge and show. After competing in several national youth judging contests and winning the National FFA contest as well as being an All-American dairy judge at the collegiate level, Jill has been happy to share her knowledge by coaching many successful teams. For the last 30 years it has been one of her greatest joys to watch young dairy youth grow in the many life skills that dairy judging teaches. She has been honored to judge at countless county fairs, state fairs and district shows in several states. Jill is excited to be a part of the North Dakota State Fair.

Tyler Otte – 4-H/FFA Dairy Judge

Tyler Otte resides in Randolph, Minnesota with his wife, Kelsey, and their three young sons. Tyler grew up on the family farm and was very involved in MN 4-H and FFA. He attended the University of Minnesota for Animal Science; while there he was a member of the dairy judging team and earned All-American honors. Today, Tyler serves as herdsman on the family farm where they milk 600 cows. Tyler has a special appreciation for cows that combine good production, high components and type.  Along with the commercial milking herd, Square Deal Dairy has hosted a heifer sale for four years and marketed registered Holsteins throughout the US and Canada.

Swine Judges

Andy Jacobson – Open Swine Judge

Andy Jacobson from Osceola, IA. My wife Nicole, son Drew and daughter Macy own and operate Jacobson Genetics with a primary focus of raising showpigs. Have been involved in raising livestock and showing livestock my whole life and wouldn’t know what to do without 4-H and FFA programs growing up and even more important for not only my kids, but for all kids to get involved with an industry that has so much to offer. Attended Northwest Missouri State, currently own and operate a private business alongside the Jacobson Genetic operation.

Thoroughly enjoy the opportunities this industry has given my family, and other families we have has the opportunity to work with over the years! Been extremely humbled and blessed to witness success along the way but the friendships and lifelong memories made will never be replaced!!

Pat Arkfeld – Jr. Swine Judge

Pat Arkfeld is originally from Dunbar Nebraska but now resided in Maple Hill, Ks with his wife Becky, who is expecting their first child in September. He is a graduate of Hutchinson Community College and Kansas State University where he was a member of two competitive livestock judging teams. Currently, he is the herdsman at Sunflower Genetics where he works alongside his In-laws managing about 350 purebred Simmental and Angus cows to produce bulls for their annual production sale in March. He also is very involved in the showpig industry as he owns and operates Arkfeld Genetics with his family. Where they specialize in purebred Duroc, Hampshire, Yorkshire, and Crossbred showpigs and breeding stock that they market to youth and breeders across the country. He has judged county, state, and national shows across the United States and is excited to be invited to North Dakota.

Isaak Beaman – 4-H/FFA Swine Judge

Isaak Beaman from Twelve Mile, Indiana is a Graduate of Black Hawk East and Purdue University and was a member of the National Champion judging team at Houston, Denver, and Louisville. Currently, he is the owner of Beaman Show Stock where he and his family house 100 showpig sows and 30 boars. Isaak and his wife Kelsey have one son, Stockton.

Sheep Judges

Todd Taylor – Open Sheep Judge
Kylar Lee – Jr. Sheep Judge

Kylar Lee grew up in small-town Burlington, Kansas. Throughout his teenage years, Kylar showed lambs across the United States along with helping other families with their livestock projects. After high school, Kylar attended Northern Oklahoma College where he was a member of their livestock judging team. He was fortunate enough to be a High Individual at the American Royal with being named a top 10 All-American. Kylar attends Oklahoma State University pursuing a degree in AgBusiness along with actively participating on the livestock judging team. Recently he was high individual at the National Western Stock Show. Aside from attending college and judging Kylar owns and operates KWL ShowStock where he raises, buys, and sells livestock across the country.

Greg Ahart – 4-H/FFA Sheep Judge

Greg Ahart grew up showing sheep and was raised on his family’s sheep, cattle, and hay ranch in Northern California.  After attending UC Davis and being both the student herdsman at the sheep unit and a member of the 1994 Cal Aggie Livestock Judging Team, he went to work for Superior Farms in June of 1995. Personally, he and his wife Mary have about 150 head of primarily black-faced wether dam ewes, as well as a few Dorsets and Cheviots. Professionally, he still works for Superior Farms today.  Superior is the nation’s largest lamb harvesting and processing company with facilities in every time zone in the country.   In his current role, he is the Vice President of Operations.  Previously he was both the Vice President of Sales (for 7 years) and the Vice President of Producer Resources. In terms of judging experience, he has judged multiple events at the county, state, and national level – including the Slick Sheared Suffolk Show at the North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Hampshire Show and Sale at the Midwest Stud Ram Sale. Both previously and currently he has served in a variety of roles for related industry associations.  He is the past president of both the California Wool Growers Association and the California Suffolk and Hampshire Sheep Breeders Association.  He has also served on the American Lamb Board, the US Meat Export Federation Executive Board, and was the final chairman of the American Sheep and Goat Center.  At the current time, he is a director on the United Suffolk Sheep Association Board, as well as continuing to serve in the CWGA and CSHSBA.

Goat Judges

Billy Hubler – Open Boer Goat Judge

Billy Hubler resides in Northeast Oklahoma where he and his family operate Kicking H Boers, raising registered Boer show goats. The show goat adventure began with their 3 kids when they were tired of showing rabbits and wanted to show livestock like their friends. While stuck at home during a blizzard, Billy found a whole herd of goats to buy on Craigslist and the farm quickly went from 2 little does to a herd of more than 30. They registered their first home-raised doe in 2011 and have enjoyed a lot of show-ring success. One of the highlights is winning the commercial show at Fort Worth Stock Show 2 years in a row. Their 3 kids are all grown now but the showing is truly a family affair with the oldest granddaughter old enough to show and the others coming right up behind her.

Billy and his wife, Kristi, are very involved with the youth fairs in their county and area in Northeast Oklahoma. They enjoy helping 4-H and FFA kids get started with market and breeding goat projects and love seeing them succeed.  As their daughter was aging out of the junior world, Billy decided to take the ABGA judge’s certification and now enjoys getting to travel across the country working with show producers and evaluating quality Boer goats at each stop.

Chris Fleming- Jr. Goat Show Judge

Chris Fleming resides with his wife Linda in Paxton, IL where they own Fleming Livestock and Friendship Farms Kennel. He started his judging career at Black Hawk East and transferred to Western Illinois University where he also gained his Bachelor’s degree in Animal science. Chris and Linda have raised 2 children Brady (Emily) Springtown, Texas, Skylynn Lake Mills, LA, and has helped multiple kids get started in the livestock industry. Chris is retired from the hog procurement industry for over 25 years. He enjoys spending time with grandkids and judging livestock shows across the country and Mexico.

Skyler Scotten- 4-H/FFA Boer Goat Judge

Skyler Scotten from Nevada, Missouri. He grew up on a diversified livestock operation and was an active member in 4-H and FFA. He judged competitively in college and is currently in graduate school studying ruminant nutrition.

Devon Miller- Open Class Dairy Judge

Devon raises and co-manages a small dairy just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, under the Shiloh Farms and Whits End Farms herd names. There they have Alpines, Saanens, and a few Nigerian Dwarfs. They strive to breed animals that will produce healthy milk for our customers, as well as perform well in the show ring. He enjoys showing, judging, and especially spending time with goats.

Doug Edge- 4-H/FFA Dairy Goat Judge

Doug Edge is from Pendleton, Indiana.  While in High school he was the high individual in Dairy Goat Judging in Indiana. He went on to be a member of the Black Hawk East and University of Illinois Judging teams.  Doug served as a 4H and FFA judging team coach for 10 years winning numerous state, national and international titles. Doug is a multi-species judge serving as a judge for county, regional, and state-level competitions.  Today he serves as COO for Reproduction Specialty Group where they focus on Genetics, Breeding Services, Nutrition, and Animal Health for the small ruminant industry.  Doug and his wife Lisa along with their two sons own Edge Livestock.

Rabbit Judges

Johnny Haussener – ARBA Judge

I have been an active breeder of Rex and Mini Rex rabbits since I joined 4-H at the age of 8. As a kid, I participated in most royalty and showmanship competitions. I have now been an ARBA judge for 12 years. The highlight of my judging career was selecting Best in Show at the Harrisburg, PA ARBA convention. Currently, I am serving as ARBA’s District 9 Director. When I am not working with rabbits, I teach 6th grade ELA in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Allan Ormond – ARBA Judge

Allan Ormond has raised show rabbits since 1978. He has raised 30 of the 50 breeds, however, his specialty is Holland Lops and Netherland Dwarfs. He enjoys judging and sharing his knowledge with the youth. Allan also served as a firefighter for Salt Lake City Fire Department for 40 ½ years as a paramedic and a Captain.

Erik Bengston – ARBA Judge
Shane Ringdal- 4-H/FFA/Open Rabbit Judge

Shane Ringdahl is American Rabbit Breeders Association licensed judge #957 and has been actively judging since 2015.  He raises a number of breeds but specializes in Mini Rex. Ringdahl lives near Mandan, North Dakota, and works as an elementary school counselor.

Cole Rupprecht – 4-H/FFA/Open Rabbit Judge

Cole Rupprecht graduated from NDSU in 2010 with a degree in Animal Science.  Cole lives in the Twin Cities and works for Zoetis as an Executive Account Manager doing direct business-to-business sales in animal health covering Minnesota. Cole has a strong passion for judging animals and has judged multiple county and regional shows, has judged in over 30 states, as well as Canada, Japan, and Australia. Cole has a small herd of registered Holstein and Ayrshire cattle.

Horse Judges

Gary Werner – QH Judge

Been in the horse industry for over 50 years, in many different areas of the business.  I’ve owned and run a breeding operation as well as showing and judging.  I’ve had multiple world champions in different events over the years.  As well I’ve judged all the major championship shows in multiple breeds as well.  I enjoy working with college judging teams as well as with youth and amateur exhibitors.

Laurel Capurro-Wachtel – QH Judge
Jan Larsen- Morgan, Paint, & Appaloosa Judge

Carded judge with AQHA, APHA, NSBA, PtHA, PHBA, ApHC, ABRA, ASHA, & WRHA.

Jan Trained All-Around APHA, AQHA, ApHC, PtHA & PHBA horses for over 40 years having numerous World, Reserve World, and Honor Roll Champions in many disciplines. Jan retired from training and moved to Montana 7 years ago, and now judges shows all over the world. Judge of many large shows including the Pinto World, APHA World, and World Ranch Horse Association World Championships in 2022. Jan lives in Kalispell with her husband Pete.

Rick Bailey – Morgan, Paint, & Appaloosa Judge

Rick Bailey has been in the horse industry for 50-plus years, training, showing, and judging horses. He holds 12 different breed cards. He has also judged most fairs, fortuities, and the World & International shows for the breeds he holds cards for. He has judged shows in all states in the United States and 20 foreign countries.

Gene Holloway – 4-H/Miniature Horse Judge

As a retired farrier, ringmaster, show manager, announcer, instructor, and trainer, Judge Gene Holloway has developed an excellent eye for assessing conformation and performance. He began working with Show Horses in the 1980s and enjoys their beauty and intelligence. Holloway began judging local and 4-H shows, and now judges 5 to 10 shows a year in all disciplines except Dressage. In his career, he has judged over 12 different breeds. A life member of AHSA, AHA, AFA, and COSCA. He has judged National Shows for Arabians (US, Youth, Canada), Miniature Nationals, United Mountain Horses Nationals, Kentucky Mountain Nationals, FOSH Walking Horse Nationals, and Andalusian Nationals. He also judged Arabians in South Africa and Miniatures in the Netherlands. Holloway counts horses as one of his most rewarding endeavors, as well as home remodeling, building, and traveling. He and his wife, Janet, have three sons, one daughter, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Mike Swain – Open/4-H Horse Judge

Mike became involved with horses when he was about 8 years old. That was a long time ago. He has been mostly involved with Quarter horses but has shown and trained other breeds too. He started judging in 1976 and has 6 different breed judges’ cards. He has been fortunate enough to have judged a horse show in every state in the United States and 28 foreign countries. Mike serves AQHA as a national director from Missouri. He has Judged World Championship shows for AQHA , APHA, ApHC ,  PHBA , German National show, and many major shows and circuits . He loves good horses of any breed and enjoys meeting wonderful people from all over the world.