CSU names new livestock judging coach and coordinator

Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences has a new livestock judging coach and coordinator.

Kyndal Reitzenstein, who is stepping into the role in the Department of Animal Sciences, is equipped with a breadth of knowledge and family history to help her in teaching and mentoring the future leaders of livestock management.

Reitzenstein, a Colorado native and third-generation farmer, said she cherishes her childhood and growing up on the family farm in Kersey, Colorado. Her passion for livestock started at the age of eight, showing cattle and pigs at the county, state and national levels with her brother.

“My parents got me involved in the Weld County judging program,” Reitzenstein said, “and I will forever be thankful for the opportunities it has offered me and the people I have met along the way.”

Reitzenstein’s family has about 150 head of Angus cattle. She added that they strive to meet the needs of seedstock and commercial cattle customers.

Class for livestock

Reitzenstein specializes in livestock judging as a sport, which provides students with an opportunity to evaluate livestock for either market or breeding qualities. Animals are placed based on the ability to combine muscle, structural correctness, rib/body and balance.

“The teaching of livestock judging provides education for students that can be applied to their future careers or within their own livestock operations,” Reitzenstein said.

In most livestock judging contests, there are 12 classes and eight sets of oral “reasons.” During the oral “reasons” presentations, students describe their opinion on why they placed a class in the way that they did. Students enhance their speaking skills and confidence by standing behind a decision.

CSU as a competitor in livestock judging 

Keith Belk, head of the Department of Animal Sciences, shared his enthusiasm for Reitzenstein leading the program back to the national stage.

“We feel very fortunate that Kyndal has agreed to accept our Livestock Judging Coordinator position,” he said. “The livestock judging program at CSU is kind of like our football program — we are in a period of rebuilding. We think that Kyndal is exactly the right person at the right time to help us, our alumni, our CSU administration and the Board of Governors achieve our goals of restoring excellence to the program.”

The CSU Board of Governors recently increased funding to the livestock judging program, which allows CSU to return to the national livestock judging stage.

“The livestock judging program is important to CSU. It’s important to the department, the college, the administration, alumni, and even to the Board of Governors, said Steve Gabel, Board Member of the CSU Board of Governors. “Recently approved funding for livestock judging scholarships will allow us to compete for the best and the brightest recruits to the Department of Animal Sciences. Our new Livestock Judging Team Coach Kyndal Reitzenstein will make us competitive at the national level which will only help to bring the best students to CSU.”

Meet the coach

Reitzenstein graduated from Redlands Community College, where she competed on a national livestock judging team and was named and All-American.

She continued her education at Oklahoma State University, completing her undergraduate education with a double major in animal science and agricultural communications. She also competed on the livestock judging team and was fortunate enough to be on a reserve national champion team and named an academic All-American.

Reitzenstein continued her education and received her master’s degree in animal science and served as the assistant coach for Oklahoma State University, coaching two national champion teams.