New Year Brings in New ITLA Approved Judges
By Randy Witte
Five new show judges were approved by the International Texas Longhorn Association (ITLA) board of directors. The process is an effort to bring uniformity to Texas Longhorn cattle judging, so judges learn to identify and properly rate those breed characteristics important to modern breed standards.
To earn a spot on the ITLA list of judges, applicants must attend at least one of the association's judging seminars, serve as an apprentice judge under an ITLA judge during a show, and be approved by the board of directors. This year newly-certified judge will join the ranks of being ITLA certified, and they include Nelson Hearn of Richland, PA,
Nelson Hearn and his wife, Tammy, had a herd of Holsteins they were milking. All was well till Nelson injured his back and subsequently determined that milking cows was not helping the chronic back pain.
"We wanted something different in cattle, but what?" Nelson recalled. A friend suggested they try raising Texas Longhorns. Tammy wasn't sure at first. But five years ago she and Nelson attended the annual Cherry Blossom sale-and came home with three head. Not long after, it was Tammy who suggested they sell all the Holsteins and replace them with Longhorns.
They decided to buy top-of-the line cattle, Nelson said, and today their herd is steeped in Sitting Bull progeny. They show their cattle throughout the northeast, are members of the Texas Longhorn Marketing Alliance, the ITLA, TLBAA, and Millinium Futurity. They sent a representation of their breeding to the 2012 World Championship Show in Oklahoma City and did well with them.
The Hearns couldn't be more enthusiastic about the breed, and along the way Nelson decided he wanted to be a judge, as well as showman and breeder.