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MSU Dairy Judging Success in National Contests, Michigan 4-H Team Earns Invitation to
International Competition

By 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 2009 judging season.

The teams visited dairy farms in Michigan and across the Midwest. A weekend practice trip in August 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 and another invitation to an international competition.

The 2009 MSU Collegiate Dairy Judging Team members were Melissa Brower (Jamestown), a junior in Animal Science, Emily Butcher (Corunna), a junior in Animal Science, Rosemary Rice (Filion), a senior in Animal Science, and Amanda Sollman (Brown City), an Agriculture Education senior. The MSU Ag Tech Dairy Management Program was represented by Eric Cole (Durand), Gerald Green (Williamston), Liz Reed (Owosso), James Weber (Vassar), and Eric Westendorp (Nashville).

The first contest of the year was at the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA. The MSU Collegiate Team and Michigan 4-H team participated in the contest. Michigan 4-H was represented by Lauren Bush (Swartz Creek), Amber Mulder (Hudsonville), Katie Thelen (St. Johns), and Cristine VanLieu (Reading).

The Collegiate Team placed 2nd in Ayrshires, 9th in Brown Swiss, 10th in Guernseys and Holsteins, 11th in Jerseys, 10th in oral reasons, and 11th overall. Individually, Rosemary was 1st in Ayrshires and Emily was 1st in Jerseys. Amanda was 4th in Holsteins and 11th overall. The Michigan 4-H Team placed 9th in Ayrshires, 11th in Guernseys and Jerseys, 10th in reasons, and 12th 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 Katie Arndt (Ovid), Lauren Bush (Swartz Creek), Sarah Mann (Hillsdale), and Eric Sneller (Sebewaing).

The Michigan 4-H Team placed 8th in Brown Swiss and Guernseys, 6th in Ayrshires, 4th in Jerseys, 2nd in Holsteins, 2nd in oral reasons, and 2nd overall. By placing 2nd in the contest, this team earned an invitation to participate on the International Livestock Judging Tour in Europe.

This is the third time in 5 years that Michigan 4-H has earned this opportunity. Individually, Sarah Mann was 5th in Holsteins and 14th overall. Lauren was 2nd in Ayrshires, 7th in Holsteins and oral reasons, and 13th overall. Katie placed 10th in Brown Swiss, 8th in Guernseys, 3rd in oral reasons, and 2nd overall.

The Collegiate Team placed 2nd in Ayrshires, 5th in Brown Swiss and Guernseys, 6th in Holsteins, 4th in Red and Whites, 9th in oral reasons, and 10th overall. Amanda was 2nd in Ayrshires and 12th in reasons. Emily placed 8th in Guernseys, 5th in Holsteins, 3rd in Red and Whites and 14th overall.

MSU Collegiate Dairy Judging Team: Left to Right, Coach Renee McCauley, Rosemary Rice, Amanda Sollman, Emily Butcher, Melissa Brower, and Coach Joe Domecq
Michigan 4-H Dairy Judging Team: Left to Right, Coach Joe Domecq, Coach Renee McCauley, Katie Arndt, Eric Sneller, Sarah Mann, and Lauren Bush
MSU Ag Tech Dairy Judging Team: Left to Right, Coach Joe Domecq, Coach Renee McCauley, James Weber, Eric Westendorp, Eric Cole, and Liz Reed.

The Ag Tech Team placed 3rd in Brown Swiss, 4th in Guernseys, and 8th overall. Eric Cole was 2nd in Brown Swiss and 6th in Guernseys. Liz was 4th in Red and Whites. Eric Westendorp was 2nd in Holsteins and 5th overall.

The final contest of the year was held at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, KY in November. The Collegiate Team placed 1st in Ayrshires, 5th in Brown Swiss, 7th in oral reasons, and 9th overall. Melissa was 3rd and Emily was 5th in Ayrshires. Amanda was 10th in Guernseys.

The Ag Tech Team placed 4th in Ayrshires, 6th in Holsteins and Jerseys, and 9th overall. Eric Westendorp and James Weber placed 8th and 9th respectively in Holsteins.

Michigan 4-H was represented in this contest by J.W. Hart (North Adams), Matt Mann (Hillsdale) Sarah Michalek (Deckerville), Sarah Mann (Hillsdale), and Brittany Westendorp (Nashville). This team had an outstanding day placing 10th in Brown Swiss, 5th in Jerseys, 2nd in Holsteins and Jerseys, 1st in Ayrshires and oral reasons, and 3rd overall.

Individually, Brittany was 3rd in Holsteins, J.W. was 1st in Jerseys and 3rd in reasons. Sarah was 10th in Ayrshires, 1st in Brown Swiss, 3rd in Guernseys, 2nd in oral reasons and 6th overall. Matt was 1st in Ayrshires, 7th in Guernseys, 9th in Holsteins, 12th in reasons, and 7th 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, NorthStar Cooperative, Inc., Michigan Holstein Association, Michigan District 1 Holstein Club, Michigan District 6 Holstein Club, Michigan Jersey Cattle Club, Michigan Milk Producers Association, 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, Gail Carpenter, 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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