MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – Missouri 4-H had its best finish since 1998 in the 2017 National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest on Oct. 2 at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.
The team finished third in a field of 22 teams, and placed in the top five in four of five breeds and oral reasons, qualifying for international competition, said Karla Deaver, University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist.
“This team set a goal from the beginning to make it to international competition,” Deaver said. “They have been worked extremely hard, and came away from this contest with two top 10 judges, two All-Americans and the best overall finish a Missouri team has had since the 1998 team, which also placed third. Their third-place finish in oral reasons is the best a team from Missouri has ever had.”
The team of Grant Groves, Daryin Sharp, Ellie Wantland and Lora Wright was fourth in Ayrshires, seventh in Brown Swiss, fifth in Guernseys, second in Holsteins, fifth in Jerseys and third in oral reasons.
Wright, daughter of Larry and Jodi Wright of Verona, was the sixth high individual overall and named an All-American. She was eighth in placings, second in Brown Swiss, fourth in Guernseys, 18th in Holsteins and 10th in oral reasons.
Wantland, daughter of Jeff and Leeann Wantland of Niangua, was the ninth high individual overall and named an All-American. Wantland was fifth in placings, 15th in oral reasons, 18th in Ayrshires, 25th in Guernseys, 17th in Holsteins and third in Jerseys.
Groves, the son of Todd and Sheila Groves of Billings, was a mere four points away from All-American status, finishing in a tie for 26th. Groves finished 10th in Ayrshires, ninth in Holsteins and 17th in oral reasons.
Sharp, the son of Erron and Delores Sharp of Bolivar, was also just four points from All-American status, finishing in a tie for 26th. Sharp finished 22nd in Brown Swiss and 19th in Jerseys.
Contestants placed one cow and one heifer class in Ayrshires, Brown Swiss, Guernseys, Holsteins and Jerseys, and gave five sets of reasons. The team is coached by Ted Probert, MU Extension dairy specialist, and Karla Deaver, MU Extension 4-H youth development specialist. Probert and Deaver are headquartered in Wright and Lawrence counties, respectively.
The Missouri 4-H dairy judging team is supported by FCS Financial, the Missouri Holstein Association and the Missouri Dairy Association in partnership with the Missouri 4-H Foundation; Southwest Dairy Museum, the John Campbell Family, Ray and Margaret Schooley, Southwest Friends of Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging, Rosebud Tractor, Raim Dairy, Arrowhead Dairy, and Dr. Barry Steevens.
Missouri 4-H is seeking sponsors to help fund participation in the International Youth Dairy Judging Tour. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Karla Deaver at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ted Probert at email@example.com.