The final moments of the International Jersey Show were certainly electric; the entire coliseum was on the edge of their seats as the Intermediate Champion and winning Three-Year-Old, Rivendale VIP Eloise, was selected as Grand Champion.
“If I was headed to the show, she would be the first one on the truck,” official judge Keith Topp of Botkins, Ohio, confirmed. “Such an amazing mammary system, so well put together — an absolute powerhouse of a cow.”
To follow this, Stoney Point Impression Blenda was named the Reserve Grand Champion after receiving the Lifetime Cheese Production Cow Award and Senior Champion Female. River Valley Colton Juliette-ET finishes out the group of top three cows from Vierra Dairy Farms of Hilmar, Calif., by being named the Honorable Mention Grand Champion. She completed this after topping the Five-Year-Old class and receiving Reserve Senior Champion recognition.
Judge Topp and associate judge Ryan Krohlow from Poynette, Wis., had quite the job sorting through a phenomenal group of 439 animals in the International Jersey Show between Monday evening and Tuesday morning. However, when it came time to select the best of the show, Topp kept things simple.
“I can stand out here and say 10 million thank-yous,” Topp described with emotion. “But, instead, let’s get thunderstruck.” AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” filled the air, matching the intense and thrilling moment of this selection. This is the third consecutive year Vierra Dairy Farms claimed Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion of the International Jersey Show.
Budjon-Vail Jordan C Shaneese-ET was named Reserve Intermediate Champion after winning the Senior Three-Year-Old class. Shaneese was exhibited by Carly and Rebecca Shaw and Kash-In Jerseys of Tulare, Calif.
The Fall Heifer class proved to be a strong one as the first and second-place animals from this class found themselves at the top during the selection of Junior Champion. Rivendale Venue Colby Jack-ET was selected as Junior Champion and was shown by Trace Johnson and Sarah Fitzgerald of Poplar Grove, Ill. Standing behind Colby Jack was Reserve Junior Champion, Stookeyholm Gentry Treasure, exhibited by Mallarie Stookey of Milford, Ind.
Incredible Jersey youth
This trend of impressive achievements continued among the 132 animals participating in the International Junior Jersey Show. Homeridge T Annette claimed the title of Grand Champion for the second year in a row after topping the Four-Year-Old class. Annette was shown by Budjon, Vail, Cunningham, Powers, and Kylie and Dawson Nickels of Lomira, Wis. The honor of Reserve Grand Champion and Intermediate Champion went to Four-Hills Lola Guns N Roses exhibited by Sarah and Megan Hill of Bristol, Vt., after winning the Junior Three-Year-Old class.
Several others received accolades between the two thrilling days of showing. LC Success Abilene was named the Reserve Senior Champion and after winning the Six-Year-Old and Older class, who is shown by Taylor, Erin, and Sophie Leach of Linwood, Kan. Additionally, Mason Ziemba of Durhamville, N.Y., exhibited the winning Senior Three-Year-Old, ZBW Masons Fizzy Cola, a cow that went on to reach Reserve Intermediate Champion.
The winner of the Fall Heifer class, Rivendale Venue Colby Jack-ET, was tapped Junior Champion of the Junior Show. She was shown by Trace Johnson and Sarah Fitzgerald of Poplar Grove, Ill. Reserve Junior Champion is the winning Spring Yearling Heifer, Four-Hills Velocity Precious-ET, exhibited by Emory Bewley of Susquehanna, Pa.
Among these many awards includes the Premier Breeder banner, which went to Pacific Edge of Tillamook, Ore., and the Premier Exhibitor honor, which was presented to Vierra Dairy Farms, who also won Premier Breeder in the junior show. The Premier Exhibitor of the Junior Show is Glamoourview-Iager and Walton of Walkersville, Md. Finally, Chilli Action Colton was named Premier Sire of the International Jersey Show, while Rapid Bay Indiana Gentry-ET was declared Premier Sire of the Heifer Show.
The judges remarked what a phenomenal few days it was for Jersey showmen and breeders. The animals who found themselves at the top of the show will help drive the Jersey breed forward for years to come.
Mikayla grew up near Osceola, Wis. She discovered her passion for the dairy industry while working on her neighbors’ Holstein dairy farm. That spurred her involvement in 4-H and FFA, and following graduation from Osceola High School, she headed to the University of Minnesota to pursue a degree in agricultural communication and marketing. During the school year, she worked as a website designer for the University of Minnesota department of animal science, and last summer, she was a farmer relations intern for Midwest Dairy. Peper served as the 2022 Hoard’s Dairyman editorial intern.