By Lakin Whatley
Auburn University (AU) hired Jonah Biensch to coach its livestock judging team, a move years in the making to revitalize the university’s livestock judging program.
The Saskatchewan, Canada, native brings a wealth of successes to Auburn from Texas Tech University (TTU). As TTU assistant coach, his team was first at the National Western Stock Show, Fort Worth Stock Show and the National Swine Judging Contest in 2020.
“My experiences going through a program so recently, as well as coaching on a collegiate level at one of the greatest livestock judging programs, enable me with the tools for developing a successful program,” Biensch said.
While at TTU, Biensch completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science, where he researched beef cattle nutrition.
Biensch embraces “learning by doing,” said Dr. Wayne Greene, head of AU’s Department of Animal Sciences.
“This merges very well with the department’s initiative to get students out of the classroom and into real-world learning activities,” he said. “Livestock judging will provide students with experiential learning through the development of decision-making skills that will launch them into successful careers as our future agriculture leaders.”
Program goals include student development, community engagement and successful university representation.
“The community backing of this program is outstanding,” Biensch said. “I look forward to giving back and engaging our supporters in this program through various events.”
Alabama legislators, including Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, have worked to allocate nearly $500,000 for the program over the past two years. The Alabama Farmers Federation is among partners who supported reviving AU’s livestock judging program, a worthy goal, said the organization’s Russ Durrance.
“Getting our youth involved in agriculture is important to the development of the next generation,” said Durrance, a commodity director who helps coordinate the organization’s youth livestock shows. “Bringing back the livestock judging team will provide great opportunities for the youth in our state. I’m excited to welcome Jonah to Alabama and look forward to working with him as we continue to develop youth livestock programs.”