Twenty-one youth participated in the 2020 Georgia 4-H State Dairy Judging Contest on July 14. Sponsored by the Ina Hopkins-John W. Cook Memorial Fund, the Carole Williams-Georgia Dairy Youth Foundation and the Pam Krueger-Milk Check Off, the competition was held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Though not an ideal way to view cattle, this tremendous group of young people took it all in stride,” said Jillian Bohlen, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension dairy specialist and professor of animal and dairy science at UGA. “Sorting through five classes of animals, each competitor worked diligently to find those that best fit the ideal for dairy cattle. Our senior competitors excelled in their justification of placings in reasons that were among the best, collectively, I have heard. I applaud each youth member that competed on their dedication to this program and their work in the contest. I would also like to thank Dr. Bill Graves, professor emeritus, for his assistance in officiating the contest.”
The annual evaluation competition is a major event for the Georgia 4-H Livestock Program. Youth participating in the Dairy Judging Program acquire a better knowledge of dairy-related topics and learn to demonstrate their knowledge in a competitive environment. The contest also encourages youth to enhance their skills in decision-making, critical thinking, problem solving and social skills as a team member.
In the virtual format, senior participants, from ninth through 12th grade, reviewed videos to place five classes of cows and heifers into specific classes and submitted two videos providing reasoning for their placings. Junior participants, grades four through eight, will reviewed five videos for placement.
Each county may enter up to 20 senior and 20 non-senior participants. The youth competed individually for high individual and as a team through the combination of the top county individuals.
All participants received an award pin for participation. A team plaque is presented to the top participating teams. The senior high individual and the winning senior team earned Georgia 4-H Master status.
This year’s winners at the 2020 Georgia 4-H State Dairy Judging Contest include:
- First place team: Emma Newberry, Lexi Pritchard and Neely McCommons — Oconee County
- Second place team: Michael Whitlock, Colton Swartz and Bella Fisk — Coweta County
- Senior High Individual: Noel Pickel — Morgan County
- First place team: Andrew Gardner, Maggie Harper and Landon Gardner — Morgan County
- Junior High Individual: Sarah Morgan Sapp — Burke County
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office by visiting extension.uga.edu/county-offices.