Passionate livestock judge gets award named in his honor

Friends and family describe Nick Germann as caring, passionate and dedicated. Nick tragically passed away this fall, leaving a void with many he touched throughout his life.

The Slope/Adams Livestock Team dedicated a top senior award to the late Nick Germann. His family lines the front row at the Hettinger Extension Center, with former team members and pupils standing behind them. The family was also given a frame with photos of Nick. (Courtesy Photo)
The Slope/Adams Livestock Team dedicated a top senior award to the late Nick Germann. His family lines the front row at the Hettinger Extension Center, with former team members and pupils standing behind them. The family was also given a frame with photos of Nick. (Courtesy Photo)

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Though he may be gone, those who knew him best wanted to make sure that his legacy is never forgotten.

Germann showed an adept ability in the field of Livestock Judging through the 4-H organization, so what better way to remember him than by dedicating a top award in his honor?

Recently, the Adams/Slope Livestock Judging Team sponsored the Badlands Livestock Judging competition’s first place senior team award in Nick’s name.

Family of Nick’s and friends through the 4-H organization gathered Sunday, Jan. 3 at the Hettinger Research Extension Center office for a meal and conversation before sharing stories and good memories of Nick and his work with the club.

Colleen Germann, Nick’s mother, was surprised to find out that the group had given her son’s name to a top honor.

“Actually, I didn’t know that until last night, while we were there, it was kind of a surprise,” Colleen Germann said.

Nick followed in his older siblings’ footsteps, chasing them down as they headed from one 4-H activity to the next. Nick had been a part of the 4-H club since he could ‘practically walk,’ according to his mother.

“He always went to 4-H,” she said.

As he worked his way up the age groups he found himself joining the Adams/Slope Livestock Judging team early in high school, a decision that led to success and passion.

In March of 2010, Nick was a member of the Adams/Slope Livestock team that scored well enough to be named top in the state. That following fall, Nick and the team went to Louisville, Ky. to judge in the national contests where he was marked 11th high in the contest, being named an All-American Judge.

After Nick’s time in 4-H was over due to graduation, he went on to college, but he never strayed too far from his love, livestock judging.

“After he graduated high school he went on to college but he came back after that and helped coach back here,” Adams County Extension Agent Julie Kramlich said.

Colleen hopes that people could see the passion and care Nick had for the kids involved in the judging activities. The countless hours of travel and practice Nick gave to mentoring young judges was just a display of kindness towards others and the care he had for the craft.

“He always tried to make everybody feel happy, (and) to make them involved and make them not feel left out,” Colleen Germann said.

Kramlich said that Nick’s teaching was effective. He knew how to give a healthy balance of constructive criticism paired with a generous dose of encouragement.

Last year there were more than 15 judgers that Nick helped coach, and this year that number is up closer to 20 for this season, a testament to the positive experience young participants have been having.

Kramlich said he inspired kids. He was good with all judges, no matter the age separation.

“It didn’t matter if they were 16 or nine years old,” Kramlich said.

Kramlich said that shortly after his passing they started to discuss a memorial. Nick had ties to communities all around the region, and after some ideas were talked about, the one that seemed to feel right was the idea of a traveling trophy. Through his involvement and success, Nick was well known throughout the state, and now the trophy bearing his name could travel as far as his legacy has, and end up in any location throughout the southwest area of North Dakota.

Colleen hopes that people look at the plaque, and strive for greatness when reading her son’s name.

“I hope that they’ll look at that award and say ‘we’re going to win this and our name is going to be on this plaque because it’s what Nick would wanted,”” Colleen said. “I just don’t want anybody to forget him.”

With his time, passion, dedication, and now a long-lasting piece of hardware, it will be difficult for anybody to forget the name Nick Germann.

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