Minnesota tops 20th Annual Accelerated Genetics Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest
The 20th Annual Accelerated Genetics Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest was held Sept. 15, in Viroqua, Wis., with the University of Minnesota taking top honors in both reasons and overall. The University of Minnesota team was coached by Dr. Les Hansen, Scott Ellinghuysen and Alicia Thurk. Team members Kelsey Mussman, Michael Schmitt, Jana Sorg and Erin Daninger, took home the Brown Swiss Canton III Traveling Trophy for winning the contest.
Placing second overall was the Oregon State University, coached by Jim Krahn. Team members included: Hayden Bush, Andrea Smaciarz, Kristen Kaste, and Matthew Jansen. Rounding out the top three teams was University of Wisconsin-Madison, coached by Chad Wethal and Brian Kelroy. Team members included: Carrie Warmka, Bethany Dado, Lindsey Hellenbrand, and Rachel Hartlaub.
The top overall individual award went to Kelsey Mussman from the University of Minnesota. The other top individuals included (listed in order from 2nd-9th): Hayden Bush, Oregon State University; Amanda Franck, Iowa State University; Tess Zettle, University of Wisconsin – Platteville; Nicholas Reps, University of Minnesota; Rachel Townsley, Ohio State University; Janna Sorg, University of Minnesota; Erin Daninger, University of Minnesota; Maria Pieper, University of Wisconsin - River Falls (tie); Andrea Smaciarz, Oregon State University (tie).
In the oral reasons competition the University of Minnesota took top honors again with second place going to the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and third place to Oregon State University.
Each year the top three individuals for oral reasons receive a special scholarship from the James W. Crowley Fund. This years top three individuals were: Kelsey Mussman, University of Minnesota; Erin Daninger, University of Minnesota; and Hayden Bush- Oregon State University .
A total of 15 teams participated in this year’s contest representing the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin. They judged dairy breeds including, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn with each participant placing 10 classes and giving five sets of oral reasons.
A key part of the judging contest are the youth that serve as leadspeople. Each year, Vernon County youth assist with the contest by leading the cattle – this year 26 youth participated. Showmanship awards are then given to the youth based on their skills exhibiting the cattle and sportsmanship.
In the Junior Showmanship Division Courtney Moser placed first, David Petersheim placed second and Krista Hall placed third. Placing first in the Senior Showmanship Division was Ryan Guttenberger, second place Logan Guttenberger and third was Libby Hauser. And the Overall Showmanship Winner was Katherine Larson, who received the David Larson Memorial Showmanship Award – a special award in memory of David Larson, who worked very closely with the Vernon County youth and the judging contest.
Contest and award sponsors include: American Guernsey Association, American Jersey Cattle Association, American Milking Shorthorn Society, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, Chart Industries, Inc., Church of Christ, Connie Schmelzer, Hampel Corporation, Holstein Associaiton USA, James W. Crowley Fund, Merial, Ltd., Milk Products, Inc., Pfizer Animal Health, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Sci-Tech Premixes, Star Blends, Supreme Awards, Swiss Valley Farms, Taylor-Wharton Cryogenics, The Baraboo National Bank, The Bank of Viroqua, Vernon County Agricultural Society, Vernon County Junior and Open Show Exhibitors, and Wisconsin Brown Swiss Canton III – Jane of Vernon.