Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team excels overseas

Brittany Groves (left), Steven Nelson, Bailee Whitehead, Tucker Peterson. Missouri 4-H’s Dairy Judging Team was invited in recognition of their outstanding results from the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo this past October.

The Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team continued their tradition of excellence by placing second in two international dairy judging contests as a part of the International Dairy Youth Tour this summer.

Steven Nelson, son of Mike Nelson of Grove Spring; Tucker Peterson, son of Janet Peterson of Mountain Grove; Bailee Whitehead, daughter of Tony and Nikki Whitehead of Conway; and Brittany Groves, daughter of Todd and Sheila Groves of Billings, were invited to compete in the 2014 International Dairy Judging Tour of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland from June 18 to July 2.

Missouri 4-H’s team was invited in recognition of their outstanding results from the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo this past October.

In Scotland, the team competed with other winning 4-H, FFA and intercollegiate teams on June 21 at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.

The pair of Steven Nelson and Bailee Whitehead placed second in the competition to a pair from Pennsylvania 4-H. New for this year’s tour, was a second competition in Charleville, Ireland on June 28. The Missouri 4-H team worked together to see how closely they could match the official judge of the show.

Missouri 4-H again placed second, this time just six points shy of Maryland 4-H. In addition to the competitions, they toured dairy farms, agriculture industries, and other local interest sites, providing a varied cultural opportunity for the team.

“Our team really embraced this opportunity to travel and have these new experiences,” said Deaver. “Not only did they see agriculture and the dairy industry in another part of the world, but they developed lifelong friendships with members of the tour from other states.”

A luncheon was held on July 11 to recognize those who sponsored the team. Sponsors included Missouri Dairy Association, Megan Fry, Robert Elijah, Duncan Smith, Toecky Registered Holsteins, Missouri Guernsey Breeders Inc, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, James Tigner, Dorothy Hilton, Dairy Farmers of America, Missouri Ayrshire Association, Missouri Jersey Cattle Club, Orscheln Farm and Home, Phil Rauch, Cathy Yeoman, Jenny Tudor, Thomas Willoughby, Phillip Brooks, Veronica Buff, Select Sires MidAmerica Inc., Laclede Electric Cooperative, CLA-COR Farms LLC, Joe Kirchdoerfer, Zach Lesmeister, Jim Lesmeister, Missouri Holstein Friesian Association, Stuart Schooley, Dairymen's Marketing Cooperative Inc., Nelson Trickey, Betty Smith, Marjorie Thompson, Missouri Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, Mary Peterson, James Coats, Larry Ferguson, MFA Foundation, Margaret Schooley, Kenda Ogle, Robert Hummel, Peterson Gravel & Ready Mix Inc., Peterson Construction Company Inc., Marshfield Veterinary Clinic, West Plains Veterinary Supply of Springfield, Zoetis, Novartis /Elanco, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merial, Norbrook, and Animal Health International.

The team receives ongoing support from Monsanto Company, FCS Financial, the Missouri Holstein Association and the Missouri Dairy Association in partnership with the Missouri 4-H Foundation, and thanks all their sponsors for their support.

For more information about the Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team program, contact one of the coaches with University of Missouri Extension: Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist, at 417-466-3102; or Ted Probert, dairy specialist, at 417-741-6134. £

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