Last issue we appealed to you, our faithful readers, to share your recollections of UK livestock judging teams. It is now our pleasure to publish several responses submitted by UK Ag alumni. Our thanks to them for helping us Remember When. We hope you enjoy their letters as much as we did.
The Start of it All
My recollections of the College of Agriculture judging teams come not from being a member but as being the daughter of former College of Agriculture Associate Dean Levi J. Horlacher (he retired in 1964).
He had been a member of the 1916 Purdue University Livestock Judging Team that won the national Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. After starting work at the University of Kentucky in 1918, he became the coach of the fledgling UK Livestock Judging Team.
As a child in the late 1920s, I recall my mother eagerly awaiting the annual telegrams from windy, cold Chicago telling of the placing of various UK Livestock Judging Team members. In those days, Western Union telegrams were the best means of communication there were no faxes, no e-mails, and limited phone connections for long distance.
My dad was extremely proud of the UK teams of the 1920s and 30s. Being a sheep specialist, he also always looked forward to the successes of the outstanding UK shepherd, Harold Barber, who amassed an amazing list of championships with the sheep from the Kentucky Experiment Station flocks at the Chicago Livestock Exposition. I really liked his Scottish accent.
The June 2001 fire at the University Administration Building reminds me of seeing the January 1926 fire that destroyed the small stucco livestock pavilion located off Rose Street on the UK farm. This was a nighttime spectacular, and my dad rushed from his nearby home in Maxwelton Court to the farm. I dont recall knowing how many, if any, records were salvaged, but I do recall the building of the brick replacement pavilion on the same site. This became the location of the UK Student Little International, later known as the Fall Festival, each November just prior to the big event in Chicago.
1947 The Dream Team
Our 1947 Livestock Judging Team was composed of five returned military veterans and two younger non-vets. We were highly motivated, willing to work hard, and eager to finish school. Our weekend training sessions and contests at Purdue University, Ohio State, and Michigan State helped prepare us for national contests at the American Royal in Kansas City and the International Livestock Competition in Chicago.
The training exposed us to a broader view of the livestock industry and created a desire to obtain more education and seek careers in this industry.
Yes, we wore suits and ties in competitions. We not only appeared to be professional, but acted in a similar manner.
One memorable experience was when seven of us traveled from Lexington to Kansas City in Coach Johnsons 1946 Plymouth sedan. We really became close on that trip.
The Value of the Experience
We (our judging team) all wore Western hats and usually ties and sport coats.
Coach Long came down with mumps at the Chicago International and had to stay in his room during the contest and show.
Judging Team was a super experience. We formed valuable friendships and gained tremendous knowledge far beyond conformation of the animals.
I have met numerous people that I have judged against in other schools during my ag career from Kansas to Florida and had the occasion to see Dr. Bob Long in his various capacities in the beef industry over the years. He taught me a lot and is a great friend.
As far as humourous events, we took some great working trips to Ohio State, Purdue, and various pure breed farms. We traveled in the UK Ag School station wagon and told hundreds of stories, jokes, and what-have-you on each other.
Our big shows were the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri, the International Livestock Show in Chicago, Illinois (I later worked in the Chicago Stockyards and volunteered to assist in the animal judging contest), and Mid-South Expo in Memphis, Tennessee. In total, it was just a great time and experience!
Levi Jackson Horlacher joined the faculty of Animal Husbandry in 1918, teaching and doing research. He served as Assistant to the Dean from 1927 until 1939, when he was named Assistant Dean. From 1951 until his retirement, Horlacher was Professor and Associate Dean for Instruction in the College of Agriculture. He is now deceased.
Harold Barber was one of the most colorful shepherds to be associated with the sheep section of Animal Husbandry. He was UKs shepherd from 1922 until his death in 1960. An expert at fitting and showing sheep, Barber won many prizes not only at the Kentucky State Fair but also at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago.
The 1953 team, from left: Van Nutt (deceased), Doug Ridley (living
in western Kentucky), Bruce Pearce (living in Louisville area),
Glen McCormick (retired in Flemingsburg, Kentucky), Ed Fuchs, Hugh
Roe, Roy Bunch (living in Bowling Green area), and coach Bob Long
(retired and living in Florida).
Submitted by Helen Horlacher Evans. She lives in Lexington and
is a 1941 alumna, with a degree in home economics education, which
was a part of the College of Agriculture at that time.
The 1947 judging team was a source of great pride for the College,
not only for their judging success but also for their career accomplishments.
Of them, three became university professors; two, Extension professionals;
one, a school teacher; and one, a banker. From left: Jack Scott,
Lowell Denton, James D. Kemp, John Hetterman, Charles Martin, Lindsey
Horn, Arlie Scott, and coach Forrest Johnson.
The 1947 team reunited after 50 years during Roundup in 1997.
From left: coach Forrest Johnson, Lindsey Horn, John Hetterman,
James Kemp, Jack Scott, and Charles Martin
Submitted by Hugh David Roe. He and his wife, Shirley, now live
in Bowling Green, Kentucky in the summer and fall, and spend the
winter in Longboat Key, Florida.
Historical information taken from History of the Department
of Animal Sciences by James D. Kemp, published June 1991 by
Agricultural Communications Services