2018 National Champion Livestock Judging Team Coach
Dr. Blake Bloomberg, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is one of the rare individuals who is just as comfortable conducting a cutting-edge research trial as he is working cows on his family farm or showing a calf in the champion drive at Denver. He currently holds the Robert Totusek Endowed Chair at Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor of applied animal science.
In November, Blake coached Oklahoma State University’s Livestock Judging Team to the national championship in livestock judging – making this back-to-back national championship wins. Blake is also one of only four individuals in history to have been both the high individual of the intercollectiage livestock judging team themselves, and who have went on to coach a championship team. Blake was the high individual of the 2006 contest as a student at Texas A&M, and coached the 2017 and 2018 championship teams for Oklahoma State. The other three individuals are J.C. Holbert, high individual in 1922 and coach of the 1938 team (both at Iowa State); Scott Schaake, high individual in 1983 and coach of five national championship teams for Kansas State; and Scott Greiner, high individual in 1988 and coach of the 1993 national championship team for Iowa State.
What do you see as the major trends in cattle selection and phenotype?
I think cattle are in a little bit of a transition period. The trend right now is that we are still very critical of structure, but it looks like we are selecting cattle for more performance and mass. The industry is wanting cattle that are a bit more muscular, and maybe even a bit bigger, with more rib and mass.
What has been your favorite show to judge, and to show?
My favorite show to judge would be any show in Louisville, because of the nostalgia of the green chips and the history that is the North American. Favorite show to show at…that would have to be Illinois State Fair, because it’s home for me, and where I grew up and the show we geared up for all summer long.
You were a very successful showman as a youngster, then a succesful judging team member, and now the championship livestock judging coach of 2018. What advice would you yu give to young kids who are showing now who want to be a significant member of the livestock community as an adult?
Being a success in the livestock community takes hard work, a lot of dedication, and a little bit of luck. For me, it wouldn’t have been possible without the people that helped me get to where I am. I was lucky to have a lot of influential people that believed in me and helped me along the way. Surround yourself with people who are going to give you a chance but also point you in the right direction if they see you are getting off track. Learn from these people and soak up as much as you can.
What have been the most significant judging teams you have coached or been a part of?
The teams I was on at Black Hawk in 2004-2005 and Texas A&M in 2006 were definitely very significant to me because I enjoyed all the people I judged with and I learned so much. The 2006 TAMU team is really unique because we were undefeated in competition for the entire year. We never lost. As far as coaching, it would be impossible to single out any teams I have coached as the most significant or best, because I have had great kids on every team I have coached. Obviously the two championships teams are special but every team is special in their own way.
Blake and his wife Wravenna have four children: Breckyn, Brenhem, Berwick, and Bexton.