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Green County 4-H Dairy Judging Teams Gain Experience, Knowledge


July 8, 2021

Photo courtesy of Lana Heins

Dairy Judging Teams (L-R): Coach Ryan Smith, Ian Schwartzlow, Deven Gilson, Ellie Modaff, Taylor Svendsen, and Coach Tess Zettle.

On Tuesday, June 22nd, four youth from Green County 4-H participated in the Southeast Area Animal Science Day Dairy Judging Competition at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Jefferson, WI. Prior to this event, the youth attended weekly practices held at different farms throughout Green County. At these practices, youth learned how to evaluate dairy cows and heifers. Using the PDCA (Purebred Dairy Cattle Association) Unified Scorecard, they learned to assess dairy animals based on four categories: Udder, Dairy Strength, Rear Feet and Legs, and Frame. Throughout these practices they strengthened their precise and quick decision making and problem-solving skills, for the timed-event competition. In addition, juniors (youth under 14 years of age) learned how to answer Type Analysis Questions (TAQs) on a chosen class. Seniors (youth 14 years and over) learned how to give oral reasons on how and why they placed a particular class. At the contest, each individual had eight classes to judge. Each class consisted of four animals to place. Juniors also had to answer 10 TAQs for two of the classes, while seniors had to present oral reasons individually on two of the classes.

Both the junior and senior teams performed well. Making up the Junior Team was Taylor Svendsen (Dougherty Creek) and Ellie Modaff (Jolly Mixers). Their team placed 17th, which is outstanding considering a full team is four members. Ellie Modaff also placed 4th overall in the TAQ's. The Senior Team was comprised of Ian Schwartzlow (Washington Center) and Deven Gilson (York). They placed 11th as a team.

Coaching this year for the junior team was Tess Zettle. The senior team was coached by Ryan Smith. Special thanks to the Green County Youth Dairy Judging Coordinator, Mike Marean, for organizing practices, preparing youth, and for everything he does behind the scenes. Congratulations to all the youth who participated!

Area Animal Science Day is designed to give 4-H youth an opportunity to learn more about livestock evaluation, while increasing decision making skills through judging and grading experiences. These events are focused more on the learning experience rather than the contest and competition.

For more information about the dairy judging teams, contact: Ellen Andrews, 4-H Youth Development Educator, at (608)-328-9440.


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