Area 4-Hers enjoy trip of a lifetime
By Miles Smith
Four Caldwell County men represented their homeland well overseas in Scotland, placing second in international beef judging and wrapping up a journey that began with competitions well over a year ago.
Following an intense fundraising campaign, Kyle Galipp, McKade Krenz, Cahil Murchison and Trey Von Dohlen made the trip to Scotland with coaches HC Neel and Brett Moriarty for the Royal Highland Show, an international competition after advancing past the state and national levels during and following their senior year in high school.
But they didn’t just return home from Scotland. They returned home with something to show for it – second place in beef judging, which involves judging a livestock competition and then undergoing cross examination by a judging panel that evaluates how they did.
Caldwell County’s team was split into pairs. Von Dohlen and Galipp judged cattle, and Krenz and Murchison judged sheep, finishing fourth.
In addition to judging in Scotland, the young men also toured Ireland.
“My experience in Scotland and Ireland was incredible.” Von Dohlen said. “Being able to experience different types of agriculture across seas in foreign countries was the coolest thing for me.
“Judging with people across the world felt different at first but at the end of the contest it felt just like another judging contest.”
The team advanced to state in spring 2017, and won, with Krenz taking high point individual. The team moved on to nationals, which took place in November 2017 in Louisville, Ky, and won. Krenz took third place high-point individual, and Krenz, Von Dohlen and Galipp were all named All Americans, meaning they placed in the top 20 as individuals. They were invited to compete in Scotland following their performance at nationals.
But Krenz said the journey commenced long before their state championship.
“A lot of hard work went into qualifying for the competition. In all actuality we had been working toward this goal since we began our freshman year of high school,” Krenz said. “We had placed at district before and advanced to state, but it wasn’t until our senior year of high school that we realized our goal of winning state!
“This propelled us to the national level in Louisvile. We went with our heads held high, knowing we were representing the state of Texas. Winning the National Championship was the icing on the cake for us.”
The men said the trip was eye opening.
“I learned so much about the agricultural industry in a foreign place. At its root, it has the same goal as it does here in America,” Murchison said. “However, when you look deeper into it, the details and methodology separate the US industry from Scotland and Ireland. It made me thankful to live in such a diverse land that we’re able to specify in a particular field of Ag if we want to.”
Of course, it was great to return home to Texas.
“We had many good meals, but I sure was missing me some Whataburger,” Galipp said.