The winning teams correctly answered questions about dairy cattle — including facts about breeds, genetics, health concerns, nutrition, and many other topics — during a tournament that attracted about 200 youth on 45 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. Halbach counted more than 70 adults who contributed their time, leadership and enthusiasm in roles that included county coaches, judges, moderators and room assistants.
“This is the largest 4-H Dairy Bowl contest yet,” Halbach said. “With a snowstorm the day before and an ice storm looming the day after, the number of participants that braved the unpredictable weather to travel to Portage from across the state was certainly great.”
In the senior division, Green County sorted themselves through the winners” bracket to finish in first place, with Fond du Lac County seniors coming back from a fourth-round loss to place second. Green County will represent Wisconsin later this year at the National 4-H Dairy Bowl Contest in Louisville, Ky. Members of the Green County team are Danyel Hosto, Lynn Dickman, Kelsi Hendrickson and Kristin Klossner. Ruth Hosto coaches the team.
Fond du Lac County”s senior team will represent Wisconsin at the World Dairy Expo 4-H Dairy Bowl Invitational. Linda Hodorff coaches the team of Danielle Waldschmidt, Patti Maedke, Tiffany Boyke and Sarah Galdi.
Senior division teams are composed of members who are 14 years or older.
Green County also prevailed in the mixed division, but had to work their way through the consolation bracket and beat the undefeated Dane County team to earn first place. Teams in the mixed bracket include members from both senior and junior age divisions. The winning Green County team, coached by Ruth Hosto, consisted of Leah McCollough, Amy Schlappi, Jake Hoesly and Brian Cramer.
In the junior division, Richland County edged out Vernon County in a winner-take-all competition for champion honors. Dana Kepler coached the team of Krysty Kepler, Josh Joseph, Devin Kepler, Lance Smithey and Brad Solshenberger. Youth under 14 years of age compete in the junior division.
“More than a fun time, participants will benefit from this experience as they progress toward their future careers,” Halbach explained. “Dairy Bowl provides an excellent opportunity for youth to apply the science that they learn in school and to learn practical information about the dairy industry.”
The Wisconsin 4-H Dairy Endowment Fund, the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science and the Badger Dairy Club co-sponsor the event.