And the tie goes to. . . Cornell

In a rare tie in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest, the Cornell and Virginia Tech teams both racked up 2,485 points. This was the second-ever tie in the 91-year history of the contest. The first occurred in 1985 between UW-Madison and Cal Poly. Final reasons scores broke that tie with UW-Madison claiming victory.

When push came to shove, this year's tie also was broken on team reasons. Cornell University, with a score of 820, came out on top.
Cornell's winning dairy judging team 2011

In one of the closest contests ever, Cornell University took top honors on oral reasons (left to right): David Galton, coach; Kelly Lee; Tyler Reynolds; Richard Hall III; and Matthew Sharpe.

All four members of the team, Kelly Lee (4th overall, 5th in reasons), Richard Hall III (5th overall, 13th in reasons), Tyler Reynolds (12th overall, 6th in reasons), and Matthew Sharpe (18th overall) received All-American accolades. The Cornell victory was a storybook ending to coach David Galton's judging career. Their combination of placings and ability to talk dairy cattle put Galton's team on top of the 21 other teams and 81 individuals who came to judge on the colored shavings. This is the 17th time Cornell has taken top contest honors and the ninth Cornell team Galton has coached to victory.
Overall team rankings for college dairy judging contest

Tying Cornell overall, but 12 points behind in reasons, was Virginia Tech. The team placed fifth in reasons with a score of 808. All members of the Virginia Tech team, coached by Mike Barnes and Katharine Knowlton, were All-Americans. The team consisted of Carissa Doody (3rd overall, 8th in reasons), Jason Zimmerman (8th overall, 14th in reasons), Austin Schwartzbeck (9th overall, 24th in reasons) and Cody Pearson (25th overall).

Rounding out the top three was the Penn State team, coached by Dale Olver, with a score of 2,457. The team included Nathan Oleniacz (10th overall, 25th in reasons), Sara Bechtel (11th overall, 17th in reasons), Hannah Wentworth (15th overall), and Philip Bachman (7th in reasons).

Overall, the top five teams had 15 members in the top 25.

High individuals in the national dairy judging contest 2011

In a one-point win, Carissa Levash, UW-Madison, was the competition's high individual, averaging a 46.67. In second was Caitlin Durow, University of Minnesota, who also had the top reasons score of the contest averaging 47.5. Durow's first-place finish was not enough to lead Minnesota to the team reasons title. Michigan State received the high team reasons honor scoring four points over Minnesota.

High individuals in the national dairy judging contest 2011

Modesto Jr. College sweeps Post-Secondary honors

Modesto Junior college winning dairy Judging Team

Jumping from last year's fifth-place finish into champion honors was the Modesto Jr. College team winning the Post-Secondary contest with a score of 2,175. Modesto Jr. College won the first contest in 1989; this is their ninth win in the 22-year competition. Pacing the team was Rocco Cunningham, the contest's high individual, who scored 735 points. He also won the reasons competition with a 44.75 average. Other team members included: Emilie Strand (4th overall, 3rd in reasons), Monica Soares (6th overall), and Natalie Sanders (9th in reasons). Modesto was the high team for the Ayrshire, Holstein, and Jersey breeds, as well as the high team for reasons.

Post secondary winning dairy judging teams

The second-place team, by 44 points, was SUNY Morrisville with a score of 2,131, averaging 44.39 points through the contest. The team was comprised of Tyler Clark (2nd overall, 8th in reasons), Mike Laspada (10th overall), and Patrick Sweatman (11th overall). The Morrisville team was 3rd for reasons.

Third-place high team recognition went to SUNY Cobleskill #1, trailing Morrisville by 6 points. Lakeshore Technical College #1 was the high team in the practical contest with a score of 489.

Post secondary high individuals dairy judging contest

Post secondary top breed winners in the dairy judging contest

Post secondary winning dairy judging teams for the practical contest

New York talks its way to victory

It was New York's 10-point lead in the reasons competition that propelled them to a one-point win over Pennsylvania in the 90th annual National 4-H Contest. The New York 4-H team was coached by Douglas Waterman. This is the Empire state's sixth-ever victory.

New York 4-H winning dairy Judging Team

New York 4-H took its first contest win since 1998 (left to right): Meghan Vaill, Emma Andrew, coach Douglas Waterman, Cassandra Sapp, and Andrew Reynolds.

The team included Andrew Reynolds (3rd overall, 13th in reasons), Emma Andrew (6th overall, 4th in reasons), Cassandra Sapp (18th overall, 2nd in reasons), and Meghan Vaill.

The second-place team from Pennsylvania, racking up 1,980 points, consisted of Michael Rush (5th overall, 11th in reasons), Amber Gabel (8th overall, 24th in reasons), Chad Horst (11th overall, 14th in reasons), and Jaylene Lesher.

The Wisconsin team of Austen Schmidt (2nd overall, 6th in reasons), Nicholas Schuster (4th overall, 3rd in reasons), Derrek Kamphuis (20th overall, 25th in reasons), and Mathew O'Leary came in third, four points out of first place.

4-H winning dairy judging teams

Andrew Kern, from Minnesota, bested the 105 other participants to be named high individual with a score of 679. Katelyn Horning, Michigan, took top reasons honors with a score of 234.

4-H high individuals dairy judging contest

4-H top breed winners in the dairy judging contest

Guernsey youth wins Merle Howard Award

An outstanding dairy judge, leader, and dairy cattle exhibitor, Karen Anderson won the 2011 Merle Howard Award. The daughter of David and Donna Anderson of Lester Prairie, Minn., Anderson is the eighth award recipient. The Merle Howard Award is presented to a top junior exhibitor at World Dairy Expo who demonstrates exemplary skills in fitting, showmanship, and overall passion for the dairy industry.

Merle Howard Award winner Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson, a talented Guernsey youth from Lester Prairie, Minn., is the eighth winner of the Merle Howard Award. The honor is presented to the top junior exhibitor at World Dairy Expo. With Anderson are Tom Morris, a Merle Howard committee member, and Steve Howard, Merle Howard's son.

Anderson has an incredible judging record taking home not one, but three high individual honors at national dairy judging contests. In 2006, she placed first overall individual at Harrisburg, Pa. Anderson repeated that accomplishment by winning high individual at the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo. And last fall, she was high individual and won oral reasons in Louisville, Ky. A gifted leader, Anderson is a past president of the American Guernsey Association junior organization.

At World Dairy Expo, Anderson showed seven cows and heifers that placed in the top four in the junior breed show during the last four years. Of that group, all but one was homebred. In 2009, she captured Junior All American honors when her cow was named Reserve Grand Champion of the National Guernsey Junior Show at World Dairy Expo. At this year's show, Anderson's homebred fall yearling was named Reserve Junior Champion of the Junior Show.

For these and many other accomplishments, she was named the 2010 Outstanding National Guernsey Youth.

Wisconsin excels in youth showmanship

In the second year of a split Youth Showmanship and Youth Fitting contest, Wisconsin and Canada dominated, respectively. In all, 267 participants vied for top showman honors in three divisions. Cole Booth, Plymouth, Wis., topped the junior division. The intermediate division was won by Tori Evert, Brooklyn, Wis., and Janelle Remington, Juneau, Wis., won the senior division.

Showmanship contest winners at World Dairy Expo 2011

Lee Morey, 15, from Rochester, Alberta, Canada, was on top of his game Sunday, winning the Young Fitting competition which kicks off youth events during Expo week. The remaining individuals rounding out the top five were Wisconsin natives.

Fitting contest winners at World Dairy Expo 2011