Mrs. Bonnie Ayars, Dairy Program Specialist, The Ohio State University
For Ohio’s 4-H dairy judges, it was a very good year! After hours of practice in and around Ohio, the Ohio State Fair, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin, over 3000 miles, and 40 plus host farms, 4-Hers took the spotlight at the Pennsylvania All American Contest. Not only did they emerge as the high team, Laura Gordon was high individual overall, and Jason Miley was high in reasons and 6th individual overall. Contributing to the team’s success were Curtis Bickel and Elizabeth Grim. All four combined to earn 1st in Guernsey, 3rd in Brown Swiss, and 4th in Jersey, and 5th in oral reasons. Individually, Laura was 3rd high in Ayrshire and 4th in Guernsey while Jason was 2nd in Guernseys.
At the national contest held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo, a team of Laura Gordon, Jason Miley, Curtis Bickel, and Greg Heiby placed 4th overall and 7th in reasons out of 30 teams competing. Jason achieved a rank of 7th high overall and proved that he could give reasons better than any other gentleman since he was 6th overall in reasons with 5 ladies above him. Laura placed 13th overall and was 19th in reasons. Laura and Jason both achieved “All American” status since they were in the top 25. For individual breed performance, the team was 5th in Ayrshire, 2nd in Guernsey, 4th in Holstein, and 9th in Brown Swiss.
The Ohio State University Dairy Judging team made up of Sherri Gress, Erin Bardall, Annie Specht, and Matthew Weeman also spent hours in and around Ohio, the Ohio State Fair, Kentucky, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Wisconsin. These road trips covered 4000 miles and over 50 host farms! Not only did they travel with the 4-Hers, but they also spent time together with the ATI dairy judging team members in New York and at the Big E contest in Massachusetts. At this contest, Annie Specht was 2nd high individual. At the Pennsylvania All American contest, the team placed 4th. Annie earned 3rd place overall, with only 5 points separating her from the top score. She was also high individual for Brown Swiss and 6th in Guernsey. Erin Bardall achieved the high honors for the Holstein breed and a score of 49 for her reasons. The team was 2nd in Guernsey and 3rd in Holstein.
At the World Dairy Expo contest, 23 teams participated and after rescoring the contest two times, Annie concluded her dairy judging career as 6th high individual overall and 6th high in reasons. The team finished in the middle, but was 3rd high in Guernsey, 7th in Milking Shorthorn, and 8th in Red and White.
It was an absolute honor to travel with these fine young people. Coaches Bonnie Ayars and Bernie Heisner and assistant Kelly Epperly only have high praise for the experience. Much was learned about judging, but we also laughed and had fun, despite many late night sets of reasons. Points were scored at the contests, but also high marks were earned for the character of Ohio’s next generation. We would once again like to thank everyone for any of your input or contributions to the judging program.
4-H Dairy Judging Team (pictured): Jason Miley, Curtis Bickel, Elizabeth
Grim, and Laura Gordon. Coaches: Bonnie Ayars and Bernie Heisner.
Collegaite Dairy Judging Team (pictured): Matthew Weeman, Erin Bardall,
Sheri Gress, and Annie Specht. Coach: Bonnie Ayars.