Seven students traveled to Utah to compete in the Western National Spring Show.
Seven Michigan State University (MSU) students from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) recently traveled to Richmond, Utah to compete in the first national dairy cattle competition in 2022. The Holstein National Exhibition in the West spring was held on May 19-20 in the pavilion of George B. Kane, with both MSU teams bringing several trophies.
Representing MSU as the White Team were Mikala Bowen of Addison, Jesse Nash of Elsie, Kelsey Pasch of Mt. Pleasant and Katie Wilson of Blanchard. The team won third overall in the competition and third for oral reasons. The event was also attended by the Greens, which consisted of Rachel Boss from Dor, Drew Neyer from Mount Pleasant and Adali Telen from St. Jones. The green team won third place in the rankings. Individual team members also won many awards. Ours was sixth overall and fifth for oral reasons; Neyer was third overall and third for oral reasons; Pash was fourth overall; and Telen ranked eighth overall.
Although this was the first competition of the year for these two collegiate teams, it was not the first time students tested their dairy cattle assessment skills. Some students have previously competed in junior college units when they were part of the Dairy Management Program of the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT). Other members of the team began evaluating cattle as 4-H members in their respective counties, at the state competition held during the 4-H Dairy Days in Michigan, and then during the national youth dairy competitions. . The youngsters who once competed against each other are now students working together as a team to represent MSU.
In preparation for the competition, students visited dairy farms around Michigan to practice their assessment and presentation skills. Dr. Joe Domek, an academic specialist and coordinator of dairy education programs at the CANR Department of Animal Husbandry, and Kirby Krogstad, a graduate student in animal husbandry, trained and traveled with both teams.
“This trip gave the team members the opportunity to practice and compete, but more importantly, the students were able to travel and see a beautiful part of the country,” Domek said as he reflected on the first competition. “They had the opportunity to get to know each other better, which will be important in the autumn, when they start preparing for bigger competitions.”
Teammate Wilson is also thinking about the race.
“Traveling is one of my favorite things about judging dairy,” Wilson said. “It’s great to experience and learn how dairy farming differs in different parts of the country, while competing and having fun along the way.”
Dairy cattle evaluation season will be in full swing this fall, with MSU and Michigan 4-H competing at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin; and the North American International Livestock Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky.
To learn more about MSU dairy judging, visit the dairy jury website. The history of collegiate, IAT and 4-H refereeing in Michigan is described with results and photos from the 1950s to the present day. For questions about MSU academic science programs, contact Dr. Domecq at [email protected]; For information on the 4-H Dairy Cattle Project, contact Melissa Ellischer of the Michigan State University Extension at [email protected]
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