Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging team competes at national contest

Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team includes, from left, Ted Probert, coach; Blake Wright; Hala Edquist; Bailey Groves; Nicolas Dotson; and Karla Deaver, coach

At the recent National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, the Missouri 4-H team placed fourth in Ayrshires, seventh in Brown Swiss and eighth in oral reasons. The team finished 12th overall.

“The team didn’t have its best day judging but finished with some outstanding individual honors,” said Karla Deaver, team coach and University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist in Lawrence County.

“While the honors and awards are wonderful, the true outcomes from judging team participation come from developing life skills in confidence, public speaking, decision-making and problem-solving,” Deaver said. “Traveling and competing as a team exposes youth to new opportunities, introduces them to other youth and adults who share their interest in judging, and to additional judging opportunities during their collegiate careers.”

In the individual standings, Bailey Groves, daughter of Todd and Sheila Groves of Billings, was first in Ayrshires, second in Brown Swiss and third in oral reasons, averaging 45.8 points out of 50 on five sets. “This is the highest individual in oral reasons Missouri 4-H has had since 1997, and possibly ever,” said Deaver.

Hala Edquist, daughter of Eric and Cheryl Edquist of Mountain Grove, came in second in Ayrshires and 10th in Brown Swiss. Rounding out the Missouri team were Blake Wright, son of Larry and Jodi Wright of Verona, and Nicolas Dotson, son of Earl and Nicole Dotson of Marionville.

Contestants placed one cow and one heifer class in Ayrshires, Brown Swiss, Guernseys, Holsteins and Jerseys and gave five sets of reasons. The contest took place at the 2019 World Dairy Expo, Sept. 29-Oct. 5 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The team is coached by Deaver and MU Extension dairy specialist Ted Probert, Wright County.

“As coaches, Ted and I have been proud of how these young adults have learned from each other and grown as we have trained for competition,” Deaver said. “We are excited to watch these young people as they continue to grow and develop skills, and we are proud to call them Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging alumni.”

The Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team receives support from FCS Financial, the Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Dairy Association, Bill Darr and the Missouri 4-H Foundation, with additional support from Friends of Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging. The team is currently seeking additional sponsors. For more information about the dairy judging program, contact Ted Probert, MU Extension in Wright County, at 417-349-4134, or Karla Deaver, MU Extension in Lawrence County, at 417-466-3102.