Sept. 11 2013 07:15 AM

Wisconsin 4-H and Big Spring FFA top Junior Dairy Management Contest.

All-American Dairy Show While the seven breed shows and dairy judging contests garner the most attention at the All-American Dairy Show, a not-so-well-known contest tests young members' on-farm knowledge. The Junior Management Contest celebrated its 27th year in 2013. The contest was held on Tuesday, September 10 in Harrisburg, Pa.

Teams of three or four members compete in six dairy disciplines: dairy cattle judging, linear scoring, dairy farm business management, milking management, dairy records management and feed evaluation/nutrient management. Students cannot have completed any college courses and all are to be high school students. Those graduating in the spring and recently enrolled in college are still eligible.

The first portion includes placing just one class of four animals. Then three cows are evaluated for linear traits and contestants then answer 10 questions on the linear scores of the cows.

The next section is a 10-question exam on farm financial equations. Youth are to have memorized formulas such as debt-to-asset ratio, return on equity and operating profit margin. They then answer questions based on the formulas with data from a fictitious dairy farm's balance sheet.

Students then evaluated teat ends, animal hygiene and identified milk quality equipment. There was also a quiz on milking procedures and milking preparation.

The final workshop was on feed and nutrient management. Feed samples were on display and had to be identified, with multiple-choice options given. Also, four feed ingredients were shown (without names) and contestants had to answer questions as to which had more protein or energy.

Once the scores were tabulated from these activities, the top five individuals were randomly announced. Those five then were given 6 minutes to prepare to answer three dairy management questions. The three topics the judges selected were herd health, keeping quality labor, and milk and meat residue risks and prevention. They then were interviewed for 8 minutes (to cover three questions) and judges held tight to the time limits. Interview scores from these top five were added to their earlier scores to determine the overall winner.

Cash prizes were awarded to the top individuals and teams in the contest. Individual category winners received All-American Dairy Show milk bottles. A $1,000 scholarship sponsored by the Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association was presented to the overall high individual. This year's overall winner, Ethan Dado, credits his win to years of practice, great coaching, hard work and dedication.

Overall Individual Results:
Ethan Dado from the Wisconsin 4-H Team was top individual of the Junior Dairy Management Contest at the 2013 All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg. Ethan is pictured with Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association secretary Dave Smith.

Individual Category Winners:
High Dairy Farm Business Management Individual: Laura Jensen, Wisconsin 4-H
High Feeding/Nutrition Individual: Joseph Weber, Big Springs FFA
High Milking Management Tools Individual: Trent Dado, Wisconsin 4-H
High Dairy Records Management Individual: Ethan Dado, Wisconsin 4-H
High Judging and Linear Individual: Allison Schafer, Michigan 4-H

The top five placing individuals of the Junior Dairy Management Contest.

L to R: Dave Smith, secretary of the Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association; Ethan Dado, Wisconsin 4-H; Trent Dado, Wisconsin 4-H; Kelly Raterink, Michigan 4-H; Laura Jensen, Wisconsin 4-H; Cody Bear, Big Spring FFA (Pa.)

High 4-H Teams:
1st: Wisconsin - 1,200 points
2nd: Michigan 4-H - 1,139 points
3rd: New York 4-H - 1,094 points

Winning 4-H Team: This was Wisconsin 4-H's first time ever competing in the contest. L to R: Sponsor representative Marcia Itle of Alltech; Laura Jensen; Trent Dado; Ethan Dado; team coach Patti Hurtgen.

High FFA Teams:
1st: Big Spring FFA, Newville, Pa. - 1,054 points
2nd: Cumberland Valley FFA, Mechanicsburg, Pa. - 855 points
3rd: Southern Huntingdon County FFA, Three Springs, Pa. - 852 points

Big Spring FFA won the FFA division. L to R: Mat Haan, Penn State Berks Extension; Cody Bear; Mark Shughart; Joseph Weber; Michael Morris; advisor Shersa Nailor; sponsor representative Vinton Smith of Elanco. Big Spring FFA repeated, as they won last year's FFA team division.