Michigan 4-H earns high honors at national dairy judging contest
Four Michigan youth take home high honors during the final national dairy judging contest of the season, including fourth overall and third in oral reasons.
The North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, is the final national dairy judging contest of the season for Michigan 4-H youth. Months of hard work and practice paid off and the 2016 team earned fourth highest scoring team overall and third highest scoring team in oral reasons out of 22 from across the country. Kristen Burkhardt of Livingston and Kent counties, Lance Frahm from Saginaw County, Morgan Luoma of Calhoun County and Hope McAlvey of Clinton County represented Michigan on Nov. 6, 2016. Frahm, Luoma and McAlvey have each competed in at least one other national contest, but this was the first for Burkhardt.
In addition to these overall honors, the team and individuals received several other ribbons and accolades. The team won:
- Second in the Jersey breed
- Fifth in the Guernsey breed
- Seventh in the Brown Swiss breed
- Eighth in the Holstein breed
Individually, each team member received the following placings:
- Burkhardt earned third place in the Ayrshire breed, 10th place in the Jersey breed, 11th place in the Holstein breed, 15th place in oral reasons and 21st individual overall.
- Frahm earned first in the Jersey breed, 20th in the Holstein breed, third in oral reasons and ninth individual overall.
- Luoma earned 13th place in the Guernsey breed, 16th place for the Brown Swiss breed, 19th place in the Jersey breed, 18th place in oral reasons and 11th overall high individual.
- McAlvey earned 12th in the Jersey breed, 13th place in the Holstein breed, 21st place in the Guernsey breed, 25th place in the Brown Swiss breed, eighth high individual in oral reasons and 10th place overall individual.
Complete contest results can be found at the North American International Livestock Exposition Judging Contest webpage.
Looking back on the contest and months of preparation, Burkhardt recalled, “Having the opportunity to compete in Louisville was an amazing experience! I had a great time with my team and I can't thank the people who have been supporting and believing in me.”
McAlvey shared a similar sentiment, “An experience that I will never forget. I want to start by thanking all the adults that have put time into me and believing in me when I didn't. I also want to thank my friends and family for sending all the good luck messages. This trip was truly an experience of a lifetime.”
To learn about 4-H dairy judging in Michigan, read more about the 2016 Louisville team, the 2016 Madison team, the 2016 Harrisburg team, the 2015 Louisville team, reflections from a 4-H dairy judging team alumni and the dairy judging program at Michigan State University.
Educational contests in Michigan and around the country are just one example of science programming available through MSU Extension. MSU Extension and the Michigan 4-H Youth Development program help to create a community excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). 4-H STEM programming seeks to increase science literacy, introducing youth to the experiential learning process that helps them to build problem-solving, critical-thinking and decision-making skills. Youth who participate in 4-H STEM content are better equipped with critical life skills necessary for future success. To learn more about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth in STEM literacy programs, read our 2015 Impact Report: “Building Science Literacy and Future STEM Professionals.”