The Larry Higgins Bison Junior Judging Contest is hosted by the National Bison Association (NBA) and Rocky Mountain Bison Association (RMBA) in conjunction with the Gold Trophy Show & Sale during the National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, Colorado.
This free, annual event is open to individuals between 8 - 21 years of age, who are academically eligible (i.e. passing all classes). Participants judge four classes of bison and provide oral reasons on one class, as selected by the judges. Everyone participates individually and collegiate and senior level participants are eligible to earn a scholarship. Additional recognition is provided for the top three registered teams and the top three junior participants (12 years of age or younger).
About Larry Higgins
Larry Higgins and his family owned and operated a farm and ranch located on the high plains of Eastern Colorado. He started raising bison in 2000 and his love for the animal and bison community grew exponentially over the years. He was a member of the National Bison Association since 1999, a member of the Kansas Buffalo Association since 2001, a member of the Dakota Territory Buffalo Association since 2010, and a member of the Rocky Mountain Bison Association (RMBA) since 2002. He served RMBA as the vice president from 2009-2010, president from 2010-2015 and then continued to serve the board as past president for a number of years.
Larry shared his knowledge and passion for bison with everyone, including children. In 2008, his son Josiah was the first person to join the NBA as a junior member. Larry saw the value of getting kids, including his own, involved in the industry at a young age.
The National Bison Association launched the Junior Judging Contest in 2008 and it wasn't long before Larry volunteered to help. RMBA now partners with the NBA to run the competition. Unfortunately, Larry passed away in 2021. That same year, the event's name was officially changed to The Larry Higgins Bison Junior Judging Contest to memorialize Larry's impact on the bison community.