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April 2008

MSU Dairy Judging in National Contests, Invited to International Competitions

Joe Domecq
Dept. of Animal Science

The Michigan State University Collegiate, Ag Tech, and several Michigan 4-H Dairy Judging Teams spent many summer and fall weekends visiting farms and judging cows in preparation for the 2007 judging season. The teams visited dairy farms in Michigan and across the Midwest. A weekend practice trip included farms in Ohio and a trip to the main offices of Select Sires near Columbus. The hard work resulted in outstanding results at three national dairy judging contests.

The 2007 MSU Collegiate Dairy Judging Team members were Lindsey Bowerman (Quincy), a junior in Elementary Education, Lindsey First (Ionia), a junior in Animal Science, Kayla Stomack (Minden City), a junior in Animal Science, and Laura Zeldenrust (Fremont), an Animal Science junior. The MSU Ag Tech Dairy Management Program was represented by Andre Bruinsma (Morenci), Becky Hale (Brown City), Bill Shuler (Baroda), and Greg Thon (Kingsley).

The first contest of the year was at the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA on September 17. The MSU Collegiate Team and two Michigan 4-H teams participated in the contest. Michigan 4-H was represented by JW Hart (North Adams), Bill Huisjen (Fremont), Nicole Smith (Shepard), and Brittany Westendorp (Nashville). A second 4-H team, whose members were all also in FFA, competed in the FFA division of the contest to gain additional experience. Team members included Andrew Holloway (Clayton), Sarah Micalek (Deckerville), Liz Reed (Owosso), and Wyatt Shuler (Baroda).

The Collegiate Team placed 4th in Ayrshires, 6th in Guernseys, 10th in Brown Swiss and 10th overall in the contest. Individually, Lindsey First was 10th in Holsteins. Laura was 2nd in Ayrshires and Brown Swiss, 8th in reasons and placed 2nd overall. The Michigan 4-H Team placed 8th in Guernseys, 6th in Jerseys, 10th in reasons, and 12th overall. Bill placed 8th in Guernseys and 9th in Jerseys. In the FFA division, the Michigan team had an outstanding day and placed second overall in the contest. The team placed 1st in Ayrshires and Brown Swiss, 5th in Guernseys, and 2nd in Holsteins and oral reasons. Andy placed 9th in Jerseys and Wyatt placed 4th in Ayrshires. Liz was 1st in Brown Swiss, 3rd in Guernseys, 7th in Holsteins and oral reasons, and 8th in Ayrshires. Sarah was 1st in Ayrshires and oral reasons, 6th in Holsteins, 10th in Brown Swiss, and 3rd overall.

In early October, the Collegiate, Ag Tech, and 4-H Teams traveled to Madison, WI for the national contests at World Dairy Expo. Michigan 4-H Team members included Heather Fry (Blanchard), Bill Huisjen (Fremont), Nicole Smith (Shepard), and Amanda Solloman (Brown City). The Michigan 4-H Team placed 1st in Brown Swiss and Guernseys, 2nd in Holsteins, 5th in Jerseys, 4th in oral reasons, and 3rd overall in an extremely close contest. By placing 3rd in the contest, this team earned an invitation to participate in the International Livestock Judging Tour in Europe next summer. They will join the 2006 Michigan 4-H team that also placed 3rd overall and will be going on the trip to Europe. Individually, Amanda was 3rd in Jerseys, 13th in oral reasons, and 22nd overall. Bill was 2nd in Guernseys, 8th in Brown Swiss, 9th in oral reasons, and 11th overall. Heather was 2nd in Holsteins, 4th in Brown Swiss and 2nd overall.

The Collegiate Team placed 4th in Brown Swiss, 13th in oral reasons, and 15th overall. Lindsey First was 10th in Holsteins and Laura was 4th in Jerseys. The Ag Tech Team placed 3rd in Ayrshires, 5th in Brown Swiss, 2nd in Guernseys, 7th in Holsteins, 8th in Jerseys, 5th in Milking Shorthorns, 1st in Red and Whites, 6th in oral reasons and 4th overall. Bill was 2nd in Guernseys and 10th in Ayrshires. Becky was 3rd in Red and Whites, 14th in oral reasons and 13th overall. Greg was 12th overall.

The Ag Tech Team also participated in the Practical Contest at World Dairy Expo. This contest offers students an opportunity to utilize practical knowledge and experience and consists of three sections. The first section is evaluating and selecting commercially bred heifers based on price, health status, and production records. Team members evaluate body condition, feet and legs, udder promise, and estimate heifer weights and heights. The second part of the practical contest involves evaluating a group of registered heifers (including pedigrees and genetic values) and determining economic values of the heifers. Linear evaluation of six cows is the third part of the contest. The Ag Tech Team placed 6th in commercial heifer evaluation, 3rd in registered heifers, 5th in linear evaluation, and 4th overall.

The final contest of the year was held at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY. The Collegiate Team placed 4th Brown Swiss, 8th in Jerseys, and 10th overall. Laura was 3rd in Brown Swiss. Lindsey Bowerman placed 4th in Brown Swiss, 3rd in Jerseys, and 12th overall.

The Ag Tech Team placed 3rd in Ayrshires, 5th in Brown Swiss and Holsteins, 1st in Jerseys, 4th in oral reasons, and 4th overall. Andre was 10th in Jerseys and Becky was 8th in Brown Swiss and 2nd in Jerseys. Bill was 4th in Ayrshires, 3rd in Jerseys, and 8th in oral reasons. Greg was 2nd in Ayrshires, 10th in Brown Swiss, 7th in Guernseys, 9th in Jerseys, and 4th overall.

Michigan 4-H was represented in this contest by Katie Arndt (Ovid), Chris Elder (Evart), Sarah Mann (Hillsdale), and Sarah Mowry (Burlington). This team placed 2nd in Holsteins and Jerseys, 8th in oral reasons and 7th overall. Sarah Mann was 6th in Jerseys and 10th in Holsteins. Katie was 9th overall.

The Michigan 4-H teams are selected from the top 25 individuals at the state judging contest held during Michigan Dairy Expo in July. These individuals are invited to participate in several workouts during August, and the teams for each contest are selected at the end of August. All 4-H youth are invited and encouraged to participate in the contest at Michigan Dairy Expo and try-out for one of the national teams. The Collegiate and Ag Tech team members are selected from students at Michigan State University who have completed a judging course and have been part of the judging program during their education at MSU.

ABS Global, Michigan Dairy Memorial Foundation, Michigan FFA Alumni Association, Michigan Holstein Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan provide major financial support to the MSU Dairy Judging Program. Team members also participate in fund raisers throughout the year, including the Spartan Spectacular Calf Sale held every March.

The MSU Dairy Judging Program would like to extend appreciation to all of the individuals, farms, and agricultural businesses that support the program by providing cattle, expertise, and financial support. Special thanks to Sarah Black and Renee McCauley who coached and traveled with the teams to various contests and workouts this fall. The MSU Dairy Judging Program is coordinated by Dr. Joe Domecq.





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