Ten senior dairy judging teams and twenty-one individuals from across the state will travel to the Wisconsin State Fair on Aug. 11, 2004, to compete for the State 4-H Champion title and the opportunity to move on to national-level competition. The teams and individuals are selected from four statewide district judging contests as part of the 4-H Area Animal Science Days program. Youth judge eight classes of dairy cows and heifers at each contest; in addition, seniors give reasons and juniors answer conformation-related questions.
A total of 428 4-Hers competed in the junior and senior divisions at the district contests; 172 seniors from 35 teams and 256 juniors from 40 teams represented their counties at the contests. Teams are comprised of three to eight members. Two or three top senior teams from each district, as well as the top three to five individuals not from those high teams, were chosen to move on to the state contest.
“The overall participation and enthusiasm that youth show for dairy judging in Wisconsin is really quite unbelievable when you look at the numbers of youth involved,” said Ted Halbach, UW-Madison Extension dairy youth specialist. “This program is absolutely dependent on volunteers; it takes tremendous volunteerism to make a program of this scope work. Think about all the contest volunteers, coaches and practice herds that give freely of their time to provide these youth with a positive experience — their effort helps to encourage future involvement in the dairy industry. We really appreciate the contributions and efforts of all the volunteers that strive to make programs like this successful.”
Halbach also emphasized that dairy judging promotes improved communication and decision-making skills among the participating youth.
Southwest Area Animal Science Day – Baraboo, Sauk County
First- and second-place teams Vernon and Dane Counties, respectively, traveled to the Southwest District Contest held June 28 in Baraboo to compete for spots at the state contest.
Winning the overall senior competition in the Southwest was Natalie Rhyme of LaCrosse County. Nikki Kessenich of Columbia County was just two points behind in second place. Along with the top two individuals, Daniel Walker (4th place from Columbia County), Charlotte Muenzenberge (7th place from LaCrosse County), and Mike Rudeki (10th place from Wood County) were also selected to represent the Southwest District as individuals at the state competition.
The Jefferson County juniors placed first overall in the junior team division. Monroe County juniors beat out the Dane County team by one point to take 2nd place. Kelly Lee from Jefferson County was named the top junior individual, followed closely in second by Derek Dreier of Monroe County.
Southeast Area Animal Science Day – Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County
The Southeast district dairy judging contest was held June 29 in Fond du Lac at the Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds. Dodge County”s seniors topped the team from Grant County by 28 points. The 3rd place team from Fond du Lac County will also join these two teams at the state contest.
Winning the overall senior competition was Shelly Bohn of Dodge County, with Becky Martin following seven points behind in second place. The following senior individuals have been selected to compete at the Wisconsin State Fair Competition: Steven Davis (7th place from Walworth County), BJ Nehls (8th place from Dodge County), Brittany Hanson (9th place from Iowa County), Frannie Kinnard (10th place from Door County) Rebekah Giese (11th place from Dodge County), and Kayla Buske (13th place from Dodge County).
In the junior contest of the Southeast District, Dodge County also topped the contest, with Fond du Lac County placing second. Alysa Yager was the high individual junior judge; Aaron Bohn of Dodge County followed her in second.
Northeast Area Animal Science Day – Antigo, Langlade County
On June 30, the Northeast district contest was held in Antigo. At this contest, Kewaunee County”s seniors convincingly won by 40 points over Shawano County, their nearest competitior. Both teams will join the state contest field.
The high senior individual overall at the Northeast contest was Amanda Knorn from Kewaunee County; second place went to Diane Voelz of Shawano County. The seniors from this contest who will be competing at the state fair as individuals include 4th place Ashley Rhode of Marinette County, 5th place Bryant Natzke from Lincoln County, 8th place Laura Kline from Kewaunee County, 9th place Zack Sawall from Waupaca County and 10th place Megan Knorn from Kewaunee County.
In the junior team competition, Kewaunee County also won first place with Langlade County coming in second. Nate Jauquet of Kewaunee County earned high individual honors, followed in 2nd by Natalie Quinn of Langlade County.
Northwest Area Animal Science Day – Ellsworth, Pierce County
Pierce County hosted the Northwest Area Animal Science Day July 1 in Ellsworth. Pierce County took first with 35 more points than their nearest competitor, Barron County. Both teams gained automatic bids to the state contest. The 3rd place team from St. Croix County will also represent the Northwest district at the Wisconsin State Fair.
In the individual senior contest, Justin Harsdorf of Pierce County won 1st place overall honors, followed in second by Stephanie Merrit of Dunn County. Stephanie Merrit, along with 6th place Lydia Hardie of Trempealeau County, 10th place Jeff Owens of Polk County, 13th place Claudia Hardie of Trempealaua County, and 15th place Jessica Lundgren of Polk County, were selected as individuals to compete at the state level.
St. Croix County won first among the junior teams. Following in second place were the Polk County juniors. Clara Byom from Trempealeau County won the Northwest junior contest by 12 points over 2nd place Kurt Wohlk from Barron County.