Michigan 4-H members and alumni place in top 10 teams at All-American Dairy Show judging contest

Three teams competed in three divisions earning team and individual honors at the 2019 All-American Dairy Show dairy cattle judging contest.

Michigan 4-H team
Michigan 4-H team, from left: Coach Joe Domecq, Caleb Whittemore, Katie Wilson, Drew Neyer and Cristin Theisen. Photo courtesy of the All-American Dairy Show.

Three Michigan teams were successful at the All-American Dairy Show dairy cattle judging contest on Sept. 16, 2019. This was one of the largest contests in the history of the All-American Dairy Show with 13 4-H teams, 11 FFA, 18 collegiate and six two-year junior college teams competing to bring home ribbons, awards and scholarships.

All three divisions evaluated 10 classes of cattle, two each of Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein and Jersey. The collegiate divisions gave five sets of oral reasons while the 4-H and two-year junior college gave four sets of reasons. All three Michigan teams finished in the top 10 overall in their division: collegiate was ninth overall and fifth in reasons with team members Austin Haywood, Lauren Heberling and Leta Larsen.

Two-year junior college/MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology team
Two-year junior college/MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology team from left: Coach Joe Domecq, Jessie Nash, Grace Platte and Caitie Theisen. Photo courtesy of the All-American Dairy Show.

The Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology team finished fifth overall and fourth in reasons for the two-year junior college division with team members Jessie Nash, Grace Platte and Caitie Theisen. All team members from the collegiate and Institute of Agricultural Technology teams were former Michigan 4-H members, many of whom started their judging careers while youth in the program. The Michigan 4-H team placed fourth overall and third in reasons with team members Drew Neyer (Isabella County), Cristin Theisen (Isabella County), Caleb Whittemore (Ingham County) and Katie Wilson (Isabella County).

In addition to team awards, individuals were recognized for their achievements overall and for specific breeds. Katie Wilson was the ninth highest overall 4-H member in the contest. Continuing the awards for the Michigan 4-H team, they were also fourth place with the Ayrshire and Jersey breeds and fifth place for Guernsey and Holstein classes. Cristin Theisen placed third in the Holstein breed and Drew Neyer was third in the Jersey breed.

Collegiate team
Collegiate team, from left: Coach Joe Domecq, Austin Haywood, Lauren Heberling and Leta Larsen. Photo courtesy of the All-American Dairy Show.

In the two-year junior college division, Caite Theisen placed fifth overall as an individual. She also placed second and third as an individual in the Brown Swiss and Jersey cattle classes, respectively. The MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology team placed fourth in the Guernsey and Jersey classes and fifth in the Brown Swiss and Holstein classes.

On the collegiate side, the team placed fourth in Brown Swiss and fifth in Jersey breed classes.

This is the first of three contests this fall where 4-H members and MSU students compete at the national level, showcasing their cattle evaluation and communication skills. The next contest is at World Dairy Expo on Monday, Sept. 30 in Madison, Wisconsin. The year finishes with teams competing at the North American Livestock Exposition on Sunday, Nov. 10 in Louisville, Kentucky.


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