March 20 2012 05:15 AM

    Youth and adults use their dairy judging skills in the popular annual contest.

    It's cow judging season. Last year over 21,000 entries were submitted in the annual Cow Judging Contest. The top individuals hailed from Wisconsin and New York. The entries are submitted from youth ages 7 years old to adult, with a junior (under 19 years) and senior division. We welcome your entry in this year's contest. The contest does not have an entry fee, and experience in dairy judging is not required – but very helpful.

    Each class has 24 different combinations, and a perfect score in our contest earns 100 points per breed. The breeds represented this year include Brown Swiss, Holstein, Guernsey, Ayrshire, and Jersey. Variations from the "correct" placing, given by the official judge of the class, receive small deductions to arrive at a score. Each breed score is then tallied to arrive at an overall score. Cash prizes are awarded to the top entries.

    The Cow Judging Contest began in 1931 with individual entries. Families could submit "family" team entries starting in 1946. Today's contest also includes 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, colleges, and ag board divisions. Special entry blanks for groups are available.

    There have been only 79 perfect scores in the 5.5 million entries in the history of the contest. Will you be the 80th?

    The contest is a great activity for youth groups, students, families, and employees. Why not make it a fun activity with friends and co-workers, but be sure to submit/postmark your placings to Hoard's Dairyman by midnight, Thursday, March 22, 2012.

    See last year's cows and official placings by clicking here.

    Click here to read the 2012 rules.

    Official placings appear in the April 25, 2012, issue of Hoard's Dairyman.