Udder perfection: judging dairy cows

 

Tom Dobbins: This is the Clemson University spring dairy show exposition. We have a youth component to this exposition in which we give 4-H and FFA members an opportunity not only to exhibit their animals, but as they are doing here today, competing in dairy cattle evaluation contests; in which the young people will have to take a written test, do a team event, mate cows based on their genetic make up, and then place and score cows in which the animals are placed by their conformation. Then the students have to defend their placings by going in and giving oral reasons to the judges. At the conclusion of this, the winning team will be awarded for 4-H a trip to either judge at Madison, Wisconsin at the national 4-H dairy judging competition or Louisville, Kentucky at the North American dairy 4-H judging competition. Here, at the Clemson University spring dairy exposition, I think it is a great opportunity not only for dairymen to come and exhibit their animals, but for 4-H and FFA to get together to learn and build on relationships but to learn life lessons and the life lessons that they will learn here tomorrow in the show ring will be how to win gracefully and also lose gracefully, and that is what it is all about.

Halle Brown: It meant a lot to me because this was my first year and I tried really hard. At first, it is kind of nerve-wracking but after you get the hang of it, it is really fun. I learned that there is different ways to learn and different ways to judge certain cows.

Allison Harman: I have been doing 4-H for a while now and it is just probably the best experience. I have done so many different things, a lot of it with the agriculture aspect, and I have just learned and grown as a person and as an individual. When I finally win this thing and are not eligible any more, I plan to start really getting involved with the FFA and I plan to go to Clemson University and major in agribusiness.