Young dairy experts from Door and Vernon counties took top honors at this year”s State 4-H Dairy Bowl, held Jan. 26 at Wisconsin Dells.
The winning teams were able to correctly answer questions about dairy cattle – including facts about breeds, genetics, health concerns, nutrition, and many other dairy topics – during a tournament that attracted approximately 180 youth from 39 Wisconsin county teams.
Much of the credit for the success of this event should be directed to the volunteers who support the dairy bowl program, said Ted Halbach, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension dairy youth specialist and organizer of the event. More than 70 adults contributed their time, leadership and enthusiasm at the Dells in roles that included county coaches, judges, moderators and room assistants.
“It would be hard to devise a better atmosphere for mentoring than at a dairy bowl contest,” Halbach said.
In the senior division, Wood County was hoping to take home a third consecutive state title. After 21 matches in the division, the 22nd and final match pitted Door County against Wood County in a repeat of last year”s final. This time however, Door County went home the victor, sweeping undefeated through the senior division on their way to the 4-H championship. Team members from Door County are Tony Brey, Zac Rockendorf, Mike Tassoul and Hugh Kinnard. Clarice Brey coaches the team.
Wood County, by virtue of their runner-up finish, will represent Wisconsin later this year at the National 4-H Dairy Bowl Contest in Louisville, Ky. Members of the Door County team had already represented Wisconsin at the national contest and are not eligible to compete there again. Members of the Wood County team are Andrea Schultz, Craig Slattery, Dan Slattery and Anne Dorshorst. Donna Dorshorst and Nathan Dorshorst coach the team.
Members of senior division teams are 14 years of age or older.
In the mixed and junior divisions, Vernon County prevailed in a pair of winner-take-all finals. Teams in the mixed bracket include members from both the senior and junior age divisions. The winning Vernon County team, coached by Kent Wendorf, consisted of Grady Wubbenhorst, Derek Petersheim, Heather Petersheim and Chrissy Wendorf. The Vernon team lost its opening round match against a skilled Eau Claire group and had to work its way through the consolation bracket to again face off with Eau Claire in the Championship round. In the first rematch, Vernon won by a narrow one-question margin to force a final round for the championship plaques.
In the contest”s other winner take-all final, Vernon County edged Barron County for championship honors in the Junior Division. Kent Wendorf coached the team of Brandon Nigh, Brian Wendorf, Katie Wendorf, Lacy Peterson and Ashley Peterson. Manitowoc County placed third in the junior division, for youth under 14 years of age.
The Wisconsin 4-H Dairy Endowment Fund, the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science and the Badger Dairy Club co-sponsor the event.