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EWC’s New Livestock Judging Coach

November 6, 2023

Paige Miller - Livestock Judging Coach

Paige Miller

At age six, Paige Miller would follow her older brothers around at livestock judging competitions and judge the livestock, even though she was too young to compete in 4-H. When she was able to join 4-H at eight-years-old, she won her division.

“I was undefeated from eight-years-old to 16-years-old,” Miller said. Locally and at the state level, she was the top livestock judge in her division.

Competing in livestock judging, Miller said, is great in helping you develop character, learn leadership, communication, and decision-making skills, and much more.

“I did 4-H and FFA,” she said. “I was on some very competitive judging teams.”

Miller grew up on a ranch in Goshen County, Wyoming, raising club calves. Her family also owned a feedlot.

After graduating high school, she attended Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas on a livestock judging scholarship. At Butler, Miller was a member of the Junior College Livestock Judging Team of the Year. She also was an Academic All American.

“My biggest achievement was winning High Individual at the North American in Louisville, Kentucky,” Miller said. “My experience in junior college was very enlightening.

From Butler, Miller went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado on a livestock judging scholarship.

“We were the first team from Colorado State to win the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo since 2001,” she said. “It was a very competitive team and we won a number of contests.

Miller graduated from CSU with an Ag Business degree in 2022 and became Eastern Wyoming Colleges’ head livestock judging coach in the summer of 2023.

“I wanted to return to Goshen County and give back to the community that has helped make me who I am today,” Miller said. “We are such an Ag community and I see a lot of potential.”

Community support and the resources available, such as good livestock to work with, and the support of the college gives her confidence in what is possible at EWC.

She is also “big on family,” and being close to her parents, Paul Jr. and Christine, and her two older brothers, P.D. and Skyler, is important to Miller.

So when the position opened at EWC, Miller packed up her two Bulldogs, Mojo and Nora, and headed back to Goshen County to lead the Lancer’s Livestock Judging Team.

“EWC is excited to have Paige Miller join the coaching and instructional staff,” EWC President Jeffry Hawes said. “Paige’s personal experience in livestock evaluation and judging shows at the local, regional and national level will provide a wealth of knowledge to our students.”

Both President Hawes and Miller see a bright future for the Lancer Livestock Judging team.

“This year’s team is a very fun group of students,” Miller said. “I’m very satisfied with their character and their work ethic.”

The EWC Livestock Judging Team, this year, has five freshman and two sophomores. The freshman year is “like a practice year,” she said. The sophomore year is the competition year.

“We will not hit as many contests this year (because of the low number of sophomores on the team), but we will next year.”

This year Miller said the team will spend much of their time and energy in staying focused and development. However, Miller is heightening standards.

“Our goal is to be in the top 10 at every contest next year,” she said. “We want to build confidence in the team members and give them lots of exposure.”

Moving forward Miller wants to draw in a more diverse group of students from different backgrounds and different areas of the country.

“I want to develop good stockmen,” she said. These stockmen are not only good judges in competition, but can “go out into the pasture with a 60 year old cattleman, who knows their stuff, and make decisions that are accessible and beneficial in the real world.”

Livestock judging is not easy, Miller explains. “You have to be able to examine the livestock, evaluate them, and know how to pick the best. Then you have to be able to define your choices. Whether competition, or judging a fair or livestock show, its hard work, but very rewarding. You have to be mentally tough to judge.”

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