Jude Anderson will judge the Wisconsin Alpaca and Fiber Fest Halter show. Along with her husband, Alan Cousill, Jude has been breeding alpacas since 1991, in both Australia and the U.S. Currently, they own and breed alpacas in the U.S., including a herd of suris and huacayas at Pucara International, a 105-acre farm in McMinnville, Oregon.
In 1994, Jude left school teaching to concentrate fully on the breeding and animal care of alpacas at Pucara Alpaca Stud in Australia.
An AAA judge since 1998, Jude gained AOA certification in 2002 and senior judge and judge trainer/instructor status in 2005. She also certified at the IAJS judging school in Peru in 2000. Since 1998, Jude has judged in Australia, the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Sweden, and Norway. She is involved in the development and teaching at both halter and fleece judging clinics and works with apprentices to develop their skills. She has also trained British Alpaca Society judges in the UK.
Currently, Jude is chair of the AOA Judges Advisory Committee and a halter liaison to the AOA Show Rules Committee. Alongside Cheryl Gehly, Mike Safley, and Amanda VandenBosch, Jude authored "The Art and Science of Alpaca Judging," a comprehensive judge training text used extensively by alpaca breeders worldwide. Jude has also conducted seminars and spoken in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK, and Germany on topics including breeding, reproduction and alpaca husbandry, alpaca fiber, conformation, selection, genetics, and nutrition.
Jacob Hart will judge The Great Midwest Alpaca Festival Halter Show. A native of Central Ohio, Jacob has been involved in the alpaca industry since 2009, when he followed his parents into the industry at the age of 12. He first acquired his own alpacas as a way for his parents to teach him about finances and investments. It was at this time that he founded Rakhel Farms, which later became Rakhel Farms LLC.
Jacob attended Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness in 2018 with the intention to apply his education to the alpaca industry. In 2019, Jacob entered the Alpaca Owners Association Judge Training Program and became a certified halter judge in 2022. He has volunteered at numerous AOA Certified alpaca shows and served on the AOA Show Revitalization Task Force in 2020.
Laurel Shouvlin will serve as the Wisconsin Alpaca & Fiber Fest Walking Fleece Show Judge. Laurel and her husband Tim, have been raising alpacas since 1997 on Bluebird Hills Farm in Springfield, Ohio. Laurel has been fascinated with the camel family since her childhood and has also enjoyed working with natural fibers, learning to weave, knit and spin while in high school.
All facets of the alpaca industry appeal to her, including husbandry, fiber arts, veterinary medicine, breeding and birthing, and the show ring. She first considered becoming a judge after volunteering as a ring steward at various shows. Laurel believes the show ring is one of the best tools available to breeders to continue to improve both the fiber and conformation of alpacas in North America. The show ring also provides a great opportunity to help educate breeders about fleece and conformation.
Laurel has served as editor and publisher of the Ohio Alpaca Breeders Association magazine, Ohio Alpaca Life, as a director for the ARI, AOA, and the Suri Network. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to evaluate North American alpacas and their fleeces in AOA and international competitions.
Paulis Musteikis from Paulius Musteikis Photography is a professional portrait and headshot photographer based in Madison, Wisconsin. He has been a full-time freelance photographer for 10 years. Paulis enjoys working with and photographing people. He has a curious mind and likes to push the limits and break the rules. Originally from Lithuania, Paulius has lived in Wisconsin for more than 20 years.