At three-and-a-half years old, John “Jack” Judy could be found bottle-feeding lambs on his family’s Germantown farm, historic Glen Avon.
“Later on he would learn blocking and trimming techniques,” said Mark Judy, Jack’s brother, who noted their family was known for its Southdown sheep.
“He would take a flock to county fairs, the Ohio State Fair, many state fairs,” Mark said. “He had a lot of champions.”
Becoming a shepherd to the sheep eventually led Jack, who died at age 87 in April 2015, to shepherding a whole different kind of flock.
“He started his shepherd’s degree right after his bachelor’s degree,” Mark said, “and I think he was talked into teaching.”
Whether he was talked into it or not, he thrived in the academic world. Jack was a member of the Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences until his retirement in 1984. For 33 years he specialized in the study and teaching of sheep production and management.
He had the title of Professor Emeritus when he left Ohio State and was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 1985.
His brother, his niece Jennifer Walker, and the whole Judy family want to honor his contributions and influence in the sheep industry by keeping his memory alive for years to come.
“He was so passionate about the sheep industry and education,” Walker said. “We wanted to establish a scholarship to honor him.”
Walker said the family has agreed to award one $1,500 scholarship annually to a second-year college student who is either a member, or whose parents are members, of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association.
“The student doesn’t have to attend an Ohio school,” Walker said, “but he or she must be a resident of Ohio.”
The memorial scholarship in his name will be administered through The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.
Interested and qualified students can apply online at ofbf.org/foundation March 1 through June 30. Walker said finalists will be interviewed by a selection committee composed of Walker and members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association during the Ohio State Fair.
“Preference is given to (agriculture) majors but it is not a necessity,” Walker said.
Always passionate about his students and their course of study, Jack was a faithful supporter of the Ralph Grimshaw scholarship, awarded through the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. Mark said his brother and Grimshaw, who was chairman of the sheep department at the state fair, were close friends and Jack was always a strong supporter of that scholarship.