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Meet The Judges

The 14th Annual Big East Regional Youth and Jackpot Show

May 6 - May 8, 2022

Contact: 413-205-5011 or bigeast@thebige.com

Jerry McPeak
Warner Oklahoma

Judge Jerry McPeak is probably best known in the cattle world for his many years of coaching national championship livestock judging teams while at Connors State College. During that same time period, he originated the first camp of its kind, Be A Champ Show Cattle Camp for youngsters.

And although Jerry is proud of those, he is most proud of his family. His wife, Veda, will attend The Big East with him. His four children all showed cattle and sheep growing up; two of the kids (now adults) are camp instructors, as is grandson Jayce.

Jerry attributes much of his success in judging and raising show cattle to his education. But he says most of his education was after he got out of the formal school setting. After a stint in the military, McPeak became an Extension 4-H agent, then migrated north to Kansas where he managed Hyplains Dressed Beef, harvesting about 550 head of fat cattle each day. He was also part owner and manager of a small feed yard.

Jerry likes to say, “I graduated in animal science from Oklahoma State University, but I got my education in Dodge City, Kansas. I never could find a cow that had read those books, so they didn’t know how they were supposed to act.”

He has judged state fairs in 16 states, and jackpots county and regional shows in another 20. He’s also judged every major show in Texas, and National shows for five breeds.

Jerry and his family produce show cattle of several breeds, too.

Be A Champ Camp is now in its 41st year. This year’s camps alone will host almost 500 students from about 30 states, including Alaska, Florida, California and Maine; over the years, they’ve worked with over 20,000 kids from 35 states showing cattle and sheep.

In his spare time, Jerry’s wife sent him to the Oklahoma State Capitol for 12 years to serve as a State Representative, and he was selected by Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association as Outstanding Legislator in 2015.Jerry was recognized by Oklahoma Youth Expo in 2016 as “Outstanding Trail Blazer” and was named 2006 Outstanding Collegiate Livestock Judging Coach.

Shawn Varner
Liberty Missouri

Judge Shawn Varner is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU) with a major in Ag Science. He lives in Liberty, MO, and works for Golden Harvest as a sales representative.

Shawn has judged at the American Royal, National Western and other large shows and state fairs, as well as many Jackpot shows.

He'll be placing the Youth Heifer Show and the Youth Market Animal Show at this year's Big East.

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