Wisconsin 4-H, Michigan State Ag Tech, and Ohio State University each won their respective divisions at the All-American Dairy Judging Contest in Harrisburg, Penn., earlier this week. Home field advantage was in play as Pennsylvania FFA was victorious in the FFA contest.
The 4-H Contest
Fourteen state 4-H teams competed and the team from Shawano County Wisconsin took the top spot with a 16-point advantage over Maryland. Maryland 4-H topped Missouri by 9 points, followed by Ohio and Florida.
The Wisconsin 4-H team consisted of Emma Gwidt (1st place individual), Madelyn Gwidt (4th individual), Mason Jauquet (11th individual), and Colin Wussow. They earned the right to compete at the All-American contest by placing second in their state’s contest. (This team will not be competing at the National 4-H contest in Madison in a few weeks.)
Following Emma Gwidt for individual honors were Lauren Almasy (Ohio 4-H), Elle Wartland (Missouri 4-H), Madelyn Gwidt (Wisconsin 4-H), and Mindy Burton (Maryland 4-H).
It was a decisive 83-point victory for Michigan State Ag Tech in the post-secondary contest with three members in the top five. High individual was Cameron Cook, with Morgan Luoma in fourth and Hope McAlvey in fifth. Teammates Julee Telkamp was 12th individual. Michigan State Ag Tech topped SUNY Cobleskill, Modesto Junior College (Calif.), Kaskaskia College (Ill.), and Morrisville State College (N.Y.) There were six teams in the contest.
High individual, Cameron Cook continued her winning ways, as she was the high individual at the National 4-H contest last year. Cameron bested Nikki Sanders of Modesto Junior College by 5 points and Kaylah Gulley (SUNY Cobleskill) by 17 points.
The Buckeyes bested the field and topped the University of Minnesota by 21 points. The University of Ohio team was led by Ella Jackson, the high individual. Teammates included Alex Houck, Lexie Nunes, and Tanner Topp.
After The Ohio State team, it was a close contest with just 8 points separating second through fifth place. University of Minnesota, Cornell University, Cal Poly, and Virginia Tech rounded out the top five teams. Thirteen university teams competed.
Ella Jackson had a commanding 20-point advantage over the competition, but it got very tight from there. Hannah Van Dyk, (Virginia Tech), Alexandra Gambonini (Cal Poly State University), Keith Koerner (Cornell University), Riley Lewis (Purdue University), and Cole Hoyer (South Dakota State University) followed in a pack separated by just six points and represented six different colleges.
The FFA contest fielded nine teams from as far away as Connecticut and Nebraska, but the local favorite, Pennsylvania FFA captured the title. Kentucky FFA trailed by four points, then Ohio FFA, Indiana FFA and Missouri FFA.High individual came from Ohio FFA, Gracie McCarre, who had a seven-point lead over Reagan Sellers of Pennsylvania FFA. Rounding out the top five individuals were Blake Wright (Missouri FFA) who was high in reasons, Sam Masri (Missouri FFA), and Kalli Schwenk (Pennsylvania). Just 10 points separated second through fifth place individuals.
The National FFA judging contest is held in Indianapolis, Ind., later this fall. It not only includes dairy judging, but also a written exam and a group presentation. (This contest included just placings and reasons.)
Dairy judging takes skill and luck. Each contest is its own microcosm. It is not a guarantee of future performance, but an excellent progress determiner.
Some teams will field the exact members for the national contests that are held during World Dairy Expo, and others will change a team member or the entire delegation. This contest serves as a great momentum driver as students prepare for the pinnacle of youth dairy judging –Madison!
Hoard’s Dairyman will be simultaneously covering all three national contest awards banquets at World Dairy Expo with live Facebook posts with the individual and team results in each breed and the overall winners. Follow our posts and cheer on your favorites on Monday night, October 2.
The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars, and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.