Gosney travels the country to become a national champion – The Falmouth Outlook

December 18th, 2019 7:44 pm

For any farmer, judging their livestock is a key part to success. For Lydia Gosney, not only is it a skill that she has been working on since she was seven-years-old but it is also she is a part of the best team in the nation, and those two elements will send her to Scotland for international competition. She is a member of Kentuckys first 4-H Livestock Judging team to win the top spot at the North American International Livestock Exposition. Her teammates include Chevy Vaske (Grant County), Will Banks (Harrison County), and Kasey Johnson (Mason County). When Kentucky was called as National Champions, we jumped out of our seats, tears flowing and hugged each other so tight, recalled Gosney of that moment. I still get chills thinking about it and all of the raw emotion. While the team was having unparalled success, she was receiving individual honors, too. After placing in many areas, it came down to the overall awards. As the announcer got closer and closer to first place, he paused. I vividly remember the sound of his voice and the silence as he announced the top two individuals were tied. She was named Reserve National Champion. I was blessed and immediately started crying, not because I was upset about getting second, but because I had put my whole heart and soul into this for the past seven years, she explained. As a livestock judge, they evaluate animals and their genetics to determine their longevity in the herd and/or their carcass merit for slaughter. At the North American International contest, her team are to judge 11 classes of either sheep, goats, cattle or hogs. They answer 30 questions on three of those classes, as well. My favorite and most competitive category is Reasons, Gosney stated in explaining the competition process. This is where they defend their decisions on the four classes they placed earlier in the day. They write four sets of speeches and, with minimal preparation, they deliver the speeches in front of the judges. Pendleton County 4-H Agent Shelly Meyer has watched Gosney grow into the national champion. Lydia is a prodigy of the Pendleton County Livestock Judging program, she said of the young lady who started in the program as a nine-year-old and came back stronger each year. Gosney has teamed with Zach Wyatt, and the duo have been the team to beat in Kentucky, according to Meyer. Beyond their success in competition, Meyer said she saw even more in them. I turned the county judging team over to them to coach and train for this past years competition, she said. It was truly remarkable to watch two young people share their knowledge and expertise with their fellow 4-Hers.

It was an incredible way to give back. Gosney credits Meyer for her success. Shelley Meyer started this journey. She judged livestock in college and decided to put together a competitive team of local kids. She has traveled the country, competing and winning competitions, but in June, her team will travel to Scotland and Ireland to represent Kentucky.

The journey was not easy though as Gosney told Falmouth Outlook that each weekend since August her teammates loaded up in a University of Kentucky van to travel and practice nonstop. I dont think people really understand all the blood, sweat and tears put into this. The bond between my team is unbelievably strong, she said. I am humbled and honored to be a part of this team. As in all champions, the hard work, dedication and commitment from the individual is directly related to their success, there is a support system that assists and guides them along the way. Coach Steve Austin saw potential in her and has pushed her to be the best she can be. My parents, Martha and Brent Gosney, are the best support system I could ask for, she said. She credits mom for keeping her confidence levels up but reminding her to stay humble and thanking the Lord for everything He has given her. Her dad pushes her to be the best version of herself she can be but never fails to remind her that she is a champion whether she wins or not.

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Gosney travels the country to become a national champion - The Falmouth Outlook

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