This edition of A Few Minutes is with John Mrozinski from South Dakota, the market judge for the California State Fair Market Lamb Show. Enjoy reading our candid interview with Mr. John Mrozinski and be sure to check back for more state fair judge interviews!
What is your background and current involvement in the sheep industry?
I have been around sheep my whole life, in many facets of the industry. Currently, my dad and I have a small group of Horned Dorset ewes.
What person/people influenced or helped to shape your view on what the ideal sheep should possess?
Without a doubt, my parents. My dad has obviously been extremely successful as a sheep judge and anyone that knows my mom can attest to her knowledge.
Where did you attend college and what awards did you achieve while judging in college?
I was on very competitive livestock judging teams at Butler Community College and Kansas State University.
What are your initial sorts when evaluating market lambs?
I don’t really consider myself a “power” or “pretty” guy; I want one that is complete. One of the big things to me is that I want one that looks really natural. I want a sheep that looks the same set up as it does on the move. I want a sheep that has a natural fill and isn’t sucked back to make the “right” weight.
What would you consider an acceptable fat range and weight range for a September State Fair?
I am not one to blindly pick an acceptable weight range. I fully understand that many of the sheep at the OK State Fair will be 8-9 months old and that they will obviously be larger and more mature than a show the end of July/first of August.
In terms of fat thickness, I’m a 3-tenths type of guy.
You’ve got one night to go anywhere in the country and watch one band, where is it and who you watching?
Give me a decent, small time band in a good, little bar and I’m in heaven.
What’s your biggest pet peeve in the showring?
I have two BIG pet peeves in the showring. I don’t like it when showman hiss and cluck at his/her sheep. I know showman will read that and laugh, but I’d put good money on that 90% of showman do it. Something that bothers me more is when showman slaps lambs. I fully understand that it sounds much harder than it actually is, but as we continue to battle animal rights groups, public perception is key and this doesn’t help.
Do you consider yourself more of a handle judge or a profile judge?
I probably spend most of my time in the ring looking at sheep at a three-quarter rear angle and on the move. To me, the 3-quarter angle gives you the best look of power and build. Some think that I walk sheep too much, but to me that’s the most natural way to view them.
If you had the chance to pick the show you would love to judge, what show would that be?
I truly enjoy judging any show with quality livestock. I am really looking for to this opportunity at the OK State Fair!
Thanks John for your time!