They say practice makes perfect. While it may not always be perfect, it is the best way to improve your skills. Youth who work their craft of cattle preparation throughout the year have an advantage when it comes time to display their talents.
The World Dairy Expo Youth Fitting Contest was held on Sunday, October 1 in the sale pavilion. The program has continued to see growth over the past eight years. The competition now includes two age categories for each gender.
Twenty-four contestants – ranging in age from 13 to 21 years old - used a one-hour time block to prepare an animal to show-ready status, including clipping and all preparation. The animal does not have to be owned by the exhibitor, but the animal must be entered in the show or a consignment in one of the breed sales held at World Dairy Expo.
Trenton Styczynski, professional dairy cattle fitter and the previous contest winner in 2010 from Pulaski, Wis., served as judge.
Top finishers in the intermediate division, Elizabeth Stoltzfus, Berlin, Pa. and Tyler London, Center, Ky.
Olivia Brandenburg, Fort Atkinson, Wis., competed last year and placed second in the senior division. This year she topped the field and won a pair of clippers.
Hannah Nelson, who placed second in the intermediate division followed suit and placed second in the senior division this year. Nelson also placed eigth in the contest in 2015 when male and females were in the same category. The young lady from Ellsworth, Wis., received clippers as well.
George Mason, Woodstock, Ontario, was awarded clippers for besting the other senior male competitors. Second place finishers in the male senior division, Austin Nauman, Norwalk, Wis., mimicked his second place finish from 2016 and 2015. Nauman also received clippers.
Complete placings for the Youth Fitting Contest divisions are as follows:
1. Tyler London, Center, Ky.
2. Jasenko Gavranovic, Nicollet, Minn.
3. Dillon Freeman, Bremen, Ind.
4. Tommy Diemel, Seymour, Wis. Senior female:
1. Olivia Brandenburg, Fort Atkinson, Wis.
2. Hannah Nelson, Ellsworth, Wis.
3. Emily Mikel, Stafford, N.Y.
4. Sandra Krone, Fountainville, Pa.
5. Kristina Mikkelson, Stoughton, Wis. Senior male:
1. George Mason, Woodstock, Ont.
2. Austin Nauman, Norwalk, Wis.
3. Jonathan Beiler, Fredericksburg, Pa.
4. Trevor Tuman, Arlington, Minn.
5. Grant Fremstad, Westby, Wis.
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.