CSU, Chico

John Gladman, Animal Science

John Gladman, Animal Science

CSU, Chico’s nationally competitive livestock judging team was the driving force that attracted John Gladman, a junior in animal science with an emphasis in pre-veterinary medicine, to the University.

Gladman transferred to California State University, Chico from Linn Benton Junior College in Albany, Ore.

Livestock judging is an opportunity for students to enhance their livestock evaluation and verbal communication skills while representing CSU, Chico in competitions across the country. During the competition, students evaluate and rank 12 separate classes of four animals each. After the evaluation they must verbally explain their rankings on eight of the classes, providing judges with the reasons why they placed the animals they way they did. The students have to be proficient in judging cattle, swine, and sheep.

The judging team is a two-year commitment for students. They practice evaluating livestock and giving reasons weekly, and travel to competitions. Fall 2010 was Gladman’s first semester on the team, and he placed second as an individual at the Fresno Fair in Fresno, Calif. The CSU, Chico judging team won the competition overall.

Gladman was raised in Central Point, Ore., where his family still resides. He is the oldest of five children and considers himself a “Navy Brat.” Both his parents were in the Navy, and his father was still active after he was born.

Gladman started judging and competing when he was in Future Farmers of America (FFA) in high school. As a sophomore, his high school team made it to nationals, where he placed third overall in swine. Gladman explained, “Judging is an opportunity for me to develop decision-making, critical thinking, and communication skills, while being around livestock and meeting new people.”

After high school, he competed for Linn Benton Junior College, where his team worked closely with the CSU, Chico team. He learned about the CSU, Chico agriculture program through judging coach Clay Carlson, who was a big influence in Gladman’s decision to transfer to CSU, Chico.

Even though the judging team keeps him busy, Gladman is also a member of Agriculture Ambassadors, Pre Veterinary Club, and Young Cattlemen’s Association. He also works for the National FFA as a leader for workshops. He travels around the country coordinating and running leadership workshops to teach high school freshmen and sophomores about leadership and to build leadership goals.

Gladman has been an active member of the FFA since high school. Besides his accomplishments in judging, he was the 2007–2008 Oregon State FFA treasurer. He still helps the association with leadership training and events.

Gladman enjoys many aspects of CSU, Chico College of Agriculture. He explained, “I like the one-on-one time with professors and the hands-on lab activities. It creates a positive and comfortable learning environment.” He also appreciates how well the University Farm is managed and how much the farm contributes to learning.

After graduating from CSU, Chico he wants to go on to veterinary school. His main area of study will be as a food animal veterinarian, but he also enjoys working with performance horses such as cutting and reining horses.

Gladman gravitates toward becoming a food animal veterinarian because of his background in agriculture. He raises club calves and club lambs to sell to youth for fairs and jackpot shows. He currently owns 10 cows and recently purchased a heifer that he will use as an embryo donor. He also has 15 ewes that produce his club lambs. Gladman said, “Seeing improvement in my calves and seeing them go on to win shows and jackpots is a rewarding experience and makes all the hard work worth it.”

Outside of class, school activities, and judging, Gladman enjoys being outside. When he gets the opportunity, he likes to go camping, fishing, and trap shooting. He also enjoys just being with people and hanging out with friends.