What made you decide to go to South Dakota State University, and what degree are you pursuing there?
Being a South Dakota native and growing up with the rich agricultural world that the state is known for there was a lot of influence on what molded me into who I am today. So, after attending several SDSU judging camps and being involved in 4-H Livestock Judging I knew that following my Junior College career I would follow suit of my father and grandfather and go judge at SDSU. No matter the coach I’d made the decision that I’d come back to South Dakota and help bring as much success to the school as I could. I just felt that I wanted to do as much as I could, for the state and the school that had helped me so much. I’m currently a Senior majoring in Animal Science and plan to graduate this upcoming May.
You were recently named high individual overall at the national collegiate livestock judging contest in Louisville, Kentucky, how does it feel being a national champion?
The honor of being named High Individual Overall at the National Collegiate Judging Contest in Louisville is truly hard to describe. There is an abundance of emotion whether it be excitement, satisfaction, pride, or sadness. So many things have gone through my mind and I couldn’t be happier to have gone out the way I did. Although, I must say winning as an individual was incredible, but winning 3rd High Team for SDSU with my closest friends was something very special. I can’t believe after four years of collegiate judging that this is the end, but I do know that it has been an experience I will never forget.
Is it hard to find a balance between judging practices, home life on the ranch, and your social life in Brookings? How do you do it?
Oh gosh, 💥the crazy life of Tyler Bush💥. I must say the past four years have been somewhat of a whirlwind. I’m not sure there is ever a moment that I’m not on the road to another show, contest, or conference. I’ve been judging all four years of college, been a part of the National Junior Angus Board, tried to be as involved as I can be in my families purebred angus operation, and well I’m a very social person so being with friends at all times was a necessity. It hasn’t been easy to balance
What do you plan to do once you graduate from college?
I look forward to bringing this degree home to the family farm and
plan to work alongside my father and grandfather helping push the cattle industry in the right direction as well as continue being involved in the farming aspect of the operation. I hope to bring along with me a new portion of knowledge in the technology and social media side of the business so that we can be in tune with what is needed to stay progressive as a purebred operation. Little or big dreams, I have both and continuing the history of my family’s operation is a simple and prestigious dream of mine and I know it will be no small task.
What advice would you give to young kids who are involved in the industry that want to have a successful judging career?
My best advice is to simply always put your best foot forward. I’m a true believer that hard work and dedication can achieve any goal you set. If you stay driven, passionate, and focused
on what you want to accomplish I have no doubt that you can achieve those goals. Also, never take for granted your supporters, because they are and always will be your biggest fans through the lows and the highs. I wish all you young kids with big dreams good luck and if you ever need an extra word of encouragement don’t be afraid to reach out.
- Tyler Bush