Oct. 3 2023 10:30 AM

Eight teams scored more than 2,000 points in the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest, but Minnesota topped them all.

The winning Minnesota 4-H team included coach Maizie Scheffler, coach Tony Scheffler, Evelyn Scheffler, Calvin Benrud, Natalie Clemenson, Caryn Miklas, and coach Emily Mollenhauer.

Students from all over the country did well in the 101st National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest on Sunday, but when the final results were announced, top honors returned to the Midwest, where they have been claimed for all but two years of the past decade.

The Minnesota 4-H team was the overall winner of the contest, edging out Missouri 4-H by nine points. Minnesota was led by Natalie Clemenson, who tallied three top-five breed finishes en route to winning the placings portion of the contest. Clemenson also became the high individual of the contest with an average of 47.7 on the day’s 10 classes and five sets of reasons.

Minnesota was the high team in placings only, as well. In addition to Clemenson, Evelyn Scheffler provided the foundation for that win by winning Jerseys and finishing fourth in Holsteins to be the third individual in placings only. She also finished in third overall.

The team was completed by Calvin Benrud and Caryn Miklas and coached by Tony Scheffler, Maizie Scheffler, and Emily Mollenhauer.

Second place overall marked the highest finish for Missouri 4-H since at least 1991, though they were third just six years ago in 2017. The Show Me State started the night off strong by being announced as the high team in the first two breeds, Ayrshires and Brown Swiss.

Three of their team members finished in the top 10 individually: Case Melzer was fourth, Molly Archer was sixth, and Libby Shaver was 10th. Additionally, Melzer finished fourth in reasons, with Archer right behind in fifth. The team coached by Karla Deaver and Ted Probert also included Logan Archer.

The third place team was Oregon, which was participating in the contest for the first time since 2012. They were led by Clancey Krahn, who was first Holsteins, second in Jerseys, third in reasons, and finished fifth overall. Her teammates were Logan Lancaster and Peyton Rawe, and they were coached by Jim Krahn.

Florida followed in fourth, led by Johanna Heijkoop, the winning Brown Swiss individual and second overall individual. That team won the Holstein breed.

Ohio was the fifth overall team, and Wisconsin finished sixth. Team member Logan Harbaugh was the high individual in reasons, tallying 236 of a possibly 250 points on reasons. He was also the high individual in Guernseys.

Missouri was the high overall reasons team, with Melzer finishing fourth individually and Molly Archer fifth. Following them was Florida in second, Wisconsin in third, Minnesota in fourth, and Oregon in fifth. Nineteen teams and 74 individuals competed in the contest this year.

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Katelyn Allen

Katelyn Allen joined the Hoard’s Dairyman team as the Publications Editor in August 2019 and is now an associate editor. Katelyn is a 2019 graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in dairy science and minored in communication. Katelyn grew up on her family’s registered Holstein dairy, Glen-Toctin Farm, in Jefferson, Md.