We caught up with judge Brent Titus before he steps “Inside the Ring” at the New Mexico State Fair. We invite you to read our candid interview with Brent below and please continue to check back often for our next edition of “Inside the Ring.”
WHO GOT YOU INVOLVED IN THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY AND HOW?
My grandfather owned a salebarn. So there was always livestock in our lives. But not show stock. A high school friend of my father had a son that was super competitive showing steers and I think that was probably who convinced us to get our first show lambs. My high school AG teacher put it to a different level and I was hooked. I would be horribly remiss if I didn’t say Ritson Urban’s name. Because he was the first nationally competitive person to help me. I miss him dearly.
WHAT IS A DREAM YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH?
You know. I’ve lived a plenty blessed life. I’ve accomplished things I never dreamed I would as a kid and our son has had a wonderful show career. I don’t think I desire anything special. I’m proud of what I’ve had the opportunity to do and the people that worked to help me. I’d like to raise the Grand Lamb at NAILE though.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO WHERE YOU CURRENTLY LIVE?
I’m from Charleston, IL. Work moved me to Alexis and now that is definitely home. Western Illinois is home to some absolutely fabulous livestock and I enjoy looking at them no matter the specie.
WHAT IS A PET PEEVE OF YOURS IN THE RING?
I’m not a huge fan of belly wool. Other than that we fed so many. I understand most of the rest that goes on.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SHEEP YOU’VE EVER SEEN?
Dylan Simpson’s Begalka sheep last summer. I used him to win a jackpot in Arkansas. He was special.
Amber Cox’s Grand Ewe at OYE in 2009. Truly ahead of the curve.
Lane Slaten’s Indiana Grand. He made one step in the ring and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It was over.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ROAD TRIP SNACK?
Dilly Bites from Casey’s and a Diet Mt. Dew
SHOWING BY WEIGHTS OR BY BREEDS?
STATE FAIRS OR NATIONAL SHOWS?
EVALUATING STOCK ON THE MOVE OR ON THE PROFILE?
On the Move
This edition of A Few Minutes is with Brent Titus from Alexis, Illinois, the market judge for the Belt Buckle Day 1 Market Lamb Show. Enjoy reading our candid interview with Mr. Brent Titus and be sure to check back for more judge interviews!
What is your background and current involvement in the sheep industry?
I started my involvement in the sheep project in 4-H and grew to producing right now. Currently my wife and I run a flock of 75 club lamb ewes consisting of Hamps and Dorsets, and my son shows competitively across the Midwest.
What person/people influenced or helped to shape your view on what the ideal sheep should possess?
Not sure of any one person but I know watching good evaluaters evaluate can really help you determine your selection preferences. So any chance I have to watch a judge I respect I feel better suited the next time I step in the ring. You may not always agree but you can sure learn from them.
Where did you attend college and what awards did you achieve while judging in college?
I attended Lakeland College and the University of Illinois. I was fortunate to be a member of a National Champion JuCo team and as a 4 year judge I was the high Individual at the American Royal and the National Intercollegiate Judging contest in Louisville.
What are your initial sorts when evaluating market lambs?
Initially, I believe they must be sorted on muscle simply by definition of the term market lamb. After that body shape and quality come closely behind.
What would you consider an acceptable fat range and weight range for a July jackpot?
It Is extremely difficult to discuss fat range at a July show with prospects. I generally will tolerate a little more fat because I like sheep to look smooth but I anticipate some very good green sheep in Waco and I don’t expect them to appear that way. I want a sheep that handles firm regardless of condition. Lambs under 90 pounds should be somewhat raw if they are going to look right in the spring and I’ll do my best to evaluate through that. Big sheep .10-.3 for me.
You’ve got one night to go anywhere in the country and watch one band, where is it and who you watching?
In Texas watching Stone LaRue with my wife Lindsey.
What’s your biggest pet peeve in the showring?
Flank Wool drives me crazy. If you leave it I’m going to assume your sheep doesn’t balance underneath well enough anyway so it doesn’t appeal well to me.
Do you consider yourself more of a handle judge or a profile judge?
I think it is very dependant on the contemporaries that surround them. Quality can come in a lot of different packages and its an evaluaters job to use the best one.They don’t always come in the same wrapper. I will say that they have to be round ribbed or I’m out.
Thanks Brent for your time!