Just two points separated the top two teams in the 2016 Lely National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. Once the classes were judged and reasons given, the 4-H team from Minnesota came out on top of the 26 participating teams, sneaking past Wisconsin 4-H.
Minnesota was led by Emily Benrud, who won the reasons portion of the contest and placed fourth overall individually. Teammates Clint Irrthum and Ben Thompson received All-American honors along with Benrud, placing eleventh and fourteenth overall, respectively. Tess Hokanson rounded out the Minnesota team.
The Minnesota team also earned a second-place finish in the reasons portion of the contest. The youth were coached by Tony and Mazie Scheffler.
Coming in second was Wisconsin 4-H, paced by Brooke Roberts’ third-place overall finish. Her sister, Vanessa Roberts, also cracked the top 10 individually, placing ninth. Their teammates, Jake Siemers and Jared Zutz, received All-American recognition as well by placing in the top 25 individuals overall.
The Wisconsin team, coached by Paul Siemers and Angie Ulness, won the reasons contest. Vanessa Roberts earned a second-place finish individually in reasons, while Brooke Roberts placed fifth.
The third-place team overall hailed from New York. Michigan came in fourth, and Ohio finished in fifth.The top individual in the 4-H contest was Cameron Cook from Michigan. She snuck past Rebekah Baumgardner of Pennsylvania by two points, who finished in second. Paige Demun from New York rounded out the top five individuals.
Cook was third in reasons and Baumgardner was fourth individually. Michigan was the third-placed reasons team, followed by Pennsylvania and New York.
The top individual in placings went to Adam Simon of Iowa. He lost just 10 points over the 10 classes.
The author is an associate editor and covers animal health, dairy housing and equipment, and nutrient management. She grew up on a dairy farm near Plymouth, Wis., and previously served as a University of Wisconsin agricultural extension agent. She received a master’s degree from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s from University of Wisconsin-Madison.