Mission / Vision / Overview

The NACTA Judging Conference provides undergraduate students with judging opportunities in a wide array of fields. Students develop communication and technical skills important for a career in agriculture.


The NACTA Judging Conference focuses on developing students within North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture member institutions. The goal is to provide an important component in preparing students for a career in an agriculture related field. Judging competition enhances decision-making ability, prioritization skills, communication skills and technical abilities within a student's chosen field. While the aforementioned abilities are for all students, the two-year competition allows students to become familiar with four-year schools and the possibilities of transferring to complete a four-year degree. It allows four-year schools the possibility of meeting potential transfer students and highlighting the strengths to allow the best possible transfer match.


NACTA provides competition in six required areas including soils, crops, general livestock, dairy cattle, ag business, and knowledge bowl. Host schools are given the freedom to add contests they are capable of holding. Examples of such contests include, but are not limited to ag systems management, precision ag, computers, horticulture, horse judging, ag marketing, ag communication, wildlife/natural resources, meats, poultry, animal science management, hippology, small animals, and landscape design.

 The philosophy of NACTA is to build comradery between students within an institution as well as between institutions. This is done by holding multiple contests over a three-day period. A sweepstakes award is offered to both two-year and four-year schools that can only be claimed if a school is successful in approximately half the contests. Quickly one can see the importance of competing in multiple, if not all contests. Certainly, a school that wants to compete in only one contest is welcome. While the goal is always to hold a well-run contest, it is not possible nor intended that all ten or twelve contests put on by a host school will be at the very top of all national competition held in that contest area. Rather, NACTA provides a unique opportunity in judging circles in that it allows 30-45 students from one college/university to compete in any of multiple competitions run by the host school. Some students choose to compete in the one contest of their choice. Other students compete in two or three different contests, which is allowed in NACTA rules as long as time conflicts do not exist.