Sept. 30 2022 03:00 PM

The 4-H, post-secondary, and collegiate dairy judging teams visited the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm in route to the national contests.

Teams judged Guernsey cows
For many young dairy cattle enthusiasts, the opportunity to participate in a national judging contest at World Dairy Expo is a top goal of their judging career. For this year’s participants, their chance to judge on the colored shavings is just around the corner.

As teams from across the country make their way to Madison, Wis., a few organized stops are made available to the youth and their coaches. These activities provide one last judging practice as well as a chance to see some dairy history.

Associate editor Abby Bauer talks to students about the new robot barn

Today, judging team members and coaches visited the Fort Atkinson, Wis., area. Their first and last stops of the day were two dairy farms that graciously opened their barn doors for the group and offered several practice judging classes of Holsteins, Red and Whites, and Milking Shorthorns.

The teams also visited the National Dairy Shrine and the Hoard Historical Museum. This piece of dairy history is a must-see for many who visit this area.

Midday, the vehicles began to roll into the driveway at the Hoard’s Dairyman Farm. The farm was established in 1899 by our magazine’s founder, W.D. Hoard. The farm has grown and evolved over the years, and today, the mostly Guernsey herd consists of around 300 cows. A majority of the herd is milked with four voluntary milking systems, while the remaining cows are milked in a double-10 parlor.

In addition to touring the facilities and learning about the farm’s history, there were two classes of Guernsey cows available for the teams to evaluate. Lunch was also served. Ham and cheese sandwiches — made with our very own Hoard’s Dairyman Farm Creamery cheese — and other sides were on the menu. The Jefferson County Agri-Business Club generously offered its services and helped prepare the sandwiches for attendees.

Teams enjoyed Hoard's Dairyman Farm Creamery cheese on their grilled ham and cheese sandwiches

It was our honor to host the hardworking youth and their coaches on this beautiful fall day. We wish all the contestants the best of luck as they participate in Sunday’s contest!

If you want to follow along with the results as they are announced on Sunday evening, make sure to “like” Hoard’s Dairyman on Facebook. The results for all three contests will be revealed at the banquet, which starts at 5:30 p.m. (CST) at The Tanbark on the Expo grounds. Summaries of each contest will also be available on Monday on our Hoard’s at Expo blog page. We look forward to sharing these results with family, friends, and dairy judging fans around the country!

Abby Bauer

The author is the senior 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 the University of Wisconsin-Madison.