Feb. 23 2018 08:01 AM

While you work on finding the perfect placing of the five classes in the 88th edition of the Hoard’s Dairyman Cow Judging Contest, enjoy this contest comparison.

In the Hoard’s Dairyman offices, Cow Judging Contest season is a little bit like Christmas. Let me draw a few parallels for you before you scoff.

Leading up to Christmas, children all across the country pour through paper (and now online) catalogs from various stores hemming and hawing over what to put on their lists. Similarly since 1931, our staff and readers throughout the country have poured through the paper (and now online) pamphlet of the year’s Hoard’s Dairyman Cow Judging Contest classes hemming and hawing about how best to line the cows up.

See? Not that far off, but if you need another example, I’ll gladly comply.

Our mailroom begins to look a lot like the North Pole’s post office as the contest deadline approaches and nearly 15,000 entries come through. As soon as they do, our “office elves” begin hand scoring the paper entries. Much to their relief, online entry submission has eased their workload just a little in the past few years. Now, you can register your placings online at judging.hoards.com.

And just like Santa Claus, once we have the country’s top entries scored, we go through “making our (winners) list and checking it twice.” You can never be too careful.

Whether you are a perennial participant of our contest or you have never heard of this worldwide cow judging contest, give it a try this year. You can find out more about the contest at judging.hoards.com. Placings are due Thursday March 22, 2018.

If you are looking for the paper pamphlets for a 4-H, FFA, or family team, be sure to call in or email soon to request those. You can reach us at 920-563-5551 or judging@hoards.com.

A special thanks goes out to all of our farms, judges, and other volunteers that make this contest so much fun for all of us and all of you each year.

Sharpen those pencils; it’s cow judging time!

More on the annual Cow Judging Contest:

How do all those Cow Judging Contest entries get tabulated?

2013’s It’s cow judging contest season

Maggie Seiler

The author is an associate editor. She covers feeding and nutrition, youth activities and heads up the World Dairy Expo Supplement. Maggie was raised on a 150-cow dairy near Valley Center, Kansas, and graduated from Kansas State University with degrees in agricultural communications and animal sciences.