COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Maryland 4-H dairy judging season was a successful one.
At the Maryland State Fair, students had the opportunity to work with the Central Maryland Research and Education Center dairy herd and the State Fair Birthing Center, and gained experience in educating the general public about the practices and benefits of production agriculture.
Another highlight of the fair was the 4-H and FFA State Dairy Judging Contest, where 85 youth contestants evaluated 10 classes of cattle and ranked them on their confirmation to breed standards.
The quality of the dairy cattle in Maryland is known nationwide, and this year 175 people from collegiate, junior college and 4-H teams from around the country traveled to participate in the contest.
Dairy judging provides youth an opportunity to learn public speaking, leadership, analytical skills and most of all how to work together as a team. These skills serve the 4-H members well after their career in 4-H has come to an end.
Two teams of 4-H’ers were selected to represent Maryland at national contests.
Team members Scott DeBaugh, Carol DeBaugh, Tessa Wiles and Derrick Zimmerman finished fifth overall at the Invitational Youth Dairy Judging Contest during the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa. They were the high team in the Holstein and Jersey breeds, with Carol DeBaugh finishing as the top individual in Jerseys.
Coached by Jessica Fritz Little of New Windsor, Md., and Kiera Finucane of the University of Maryland, they continued their success at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.
The team finished ninth overall with a third-place finish in the Brown Swiss breed and sixth place in oral reasons. Scott DeBaugh earned All-American status for his 18th place finish in the contest.
At the North American International Livestock Expo in Louisville, Ky., in November, Brent Zimmerman, Katelyn Allen, Julia Doody and Ian Doody finished sixth overall. They were coached by Finucane and Amanda Dennis of Thurmont.
The contest included 22 4-H and FFA teams. All team members finished in the top 30 in the contest for oral reasons and they were the high team in the Jersey breed and the second-place team in Guernseys.
Katelyn Allen was the fourth high individual in the contest and Julia Doody was the high individual in Jersey and fourth high individual in oral reasons.
For full contest results, visit http://dairy.umd.edu/ or call Kiera Finucane at 301-405-1392.