Polk County's senior dairy bowl team won the State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest on Jan. 28 in Portage. The team will represent Wisconsin in November at the national contest in Louisville, Ky. Dane County earned top honors as the winning mixed division team, while Barron County finished first in the junior division.
The competition tested the quick wit and extensive knowledge of more than 140 4-H members on 33 county teams. Contestants answered questions about dairy cattle genetics, health, nutrition, showing and other topics. Four-person teams and their alternates traveled from all corners of the state to represent their counties in the three divisions.
"These kids and their coaches have worked very hard over the past few months to learn as much as they can about dairy and it really shows," said Beth Heinze, the event's coordinator and state 4-H Extension dairy youth agent.
Teams from 11 counties vied for first place in the junior division, which includes contestants 14 years of age and under. The Barron County team topped the competition with team members Allissa Firsle, Kelli Marschall, Abigail Solum and April Hunt. The team was coached by Chuck and Cathy Solum. The team from Langlade County was second in the junior division.
Eleven counties competed in the mixed division, which includes both junior and senior team members. The team from Dane County topped the mixed division. Team members were Lizi Endres, Cassie Endres, Emma Olstad and Molly Sarbacker with Coaches Amber Elliott and Kelly Sime. The Manitowoc County mixed team took second place.
Twelve senior teams with youth between the ages of 15 and 19 competed. For the second year in a row the seniors from Polk County went undefeated this year to claim the 4-H Dairy Bowl title and the right to compete at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville this fall beating out a tough Manitowoc County team in the finals. The Polk County team members were Laura Jensen, Trent Dado, Cody Getschel and Colin Scholz with Coach Patti Hurtgen.
UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science faculty, Badger Dairy Club members and UW dairy science alumni helped with moderating, judging and operating the contest. The event was co-sponsored by the Wisconsin 4-H Dairy Endowment Fund, the UW-Madison Department of Dairy Science, UW-Extension and the Badger Dairy Club.