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MSU Collegiate and Ag Tech Dairy Judging Teams Have Another Successful Year


Joe Domecq
Dept. of Animal Science

The Michigan State University Collegiate and Ag Tech Dairy Judging Teams and over 25 Michigan 4-Hers interested in being member teams that represent Michigan in national contests, spent many summer and fall weekends visiting farms and judging cows in preparation for the 2010 judging season. The teams visited dairy farms in Michigan and across the Midwest.
A weekend practice trip over Labor Day weekend to the Maryland State Fair included almost 30 classes of cows and heifers and the opportunity to watch several outstanding breed shows, visit Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and tour the battlefield in Gettysburg, PA. The hard work resulted in outstanding results at three national dairy judging contests and another invitation to the Royal Highland Judging Competition in Scotland.

The 2010 MSU Collegiate Dairy Judging Team members were Krista Beeker (Centreville), a senior in Animal Science; Jessica Makowski (Macomb), a senior in Animal Science; Sara Mowry (Burlington), a senior in Ag Business; and Lynnae Slavik (Ashley), an Animal Science senior. The MSU Ag Tech Dairy Management Program was represented by John Anibal (Byron), Dale Dick (McBain), Cristine VanLieu (Reading), and Ross Williams (Homer).

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 Megan Bush (Swartz Creek), Hayleigh Geurink (Allendale), Kailey Sweers (Dansville), and Carmen Zwemmer (Bad Axe).

The Michigan 4-H Team placed 2nd in Jerseys, 3rd in Ayrshires and Holsteins, 4th in Guernseys, 8th in Brown Swiss, 6th in reasons, and 4th overall. Individually, Carmen was 9th in Holsteins, and 23rd overall. Megan was 6th in Guernseys, 7th in Brown Swiss and 10th overall. Hayleigh was 1st in Ayrshires and Guernseys, 3rd in Holsteins and Jerseys, 3rd in reasons and 2nd overall. The Collegiate Team placed 9th in Brown Swiss and Guernseys, 10th in Holsteins and 11th 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 J.W. Hart (North Adams), Matt Mann (Hillsdale), Sarah Michalek (Deckerville), and Levi Westendorp (Nashville). The Michigan 4-H Team had an outstanding day placing 2nd overall for the second year in a row. The team was 1st in Holsteins, 3rd in Ayrshires, 7th in Jerseys, and 8th in Guernseys. They were also 2nd in oral reasons. By placing 2nd in the contest, this team earned an invitation to participate in the International Livestock Judging Tour in Europe. This is the fourth time in six years that Michigan 4-H has earned this opportunity. Individually, Sarah was 9th in Holsteins, 11th in reasons and 24th overall. J.W. was 6th in Ayrshires, 5th in Jerseys and oral reasons, and 11th overall. Matt placed 1st in Ayrshires, 3rd in Holsteins, 11th in Guernseys, 7th in reasons and 6th overall.

The Collegiate Team placed 7th in Red and Whites, 8th in Ayrshires, 9th in Brown Swiss, 11th in Holsteins, and 11th overall. Lynnae was 2nd in Brown Swiss, 7th in Ayrshires, 10th in Red and Whites, and 11th overall.

The Ag Tech Team placed 1st in Milking Shorthorns, 3rd in Red and Whites, 4th in Jerseys, 5th in Brown Swiss, and 6th overall. Cristine was 3rd in Ayrshires. John was 4th in Milking Shorthorns. Dale was 2nd in Brown Swiss, 3rd in Milking Shorthorns, 8th in Red and Whites, and 8th 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 4th in Holsteins, 5th in Jerseys, 6th in Brown Swiss, 7th in Guernseys, 8th in oral reasons, and 5th overall. Sara was 8th in Brown Swiss. Lynnae was 3rd in Jerseys, 8th in Guernseys, 4th in reasons, and 7th overall.

The Ag Tech Team had an outstanding day. They placed 1st in Ayrshires and Brown Swiss, 4th in Jerseys, 6th in Guernseys, and 4th in reasons and overall. Individually, Cristine was 3rd in Holsteins. John was 1st in Brown Swiss, 3rd in Guernseys and Jerseys, 9th in Ayrshires, 8th in reasons, and 3rd overall. Dale was 1st in Ayrshires and Guernseys, 4th in Brown Swiss, 3rd in reasons and 5th overall.

Michigan 4-H was represented in this contest by Lauren Bush (Swartz Creek), Casei Hart (Grass Lake), Katelyn Horning (Manchester), and Marshall Wixom (Bloomingdale). This team placed 6th in Jerseys, 10th in Brown Swiss, 11th in Guernseys, 8th in reasons and 10th overall. Lauren was 2nd in Jerseys.

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 by the first of September.
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 attending 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, Jess Jakubik, Amanda Sollman, Heather and Jessica Fry, and Emily Butcher 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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