The 18th Annual Accelerated Genetics Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest was held Sept. 18 in Viroqua with the University of Wisconsin-Madison taking top honors in reasons and overall. The University of Wisconsin-Madison team was coached by Chad Wethal and Brian Kelroy.
Team members Abbey Wethal, Ryan O'Leary, Mitch Kappleman and Genevieve Dryak, took home the coveted Brown Swiss Canton III Traveling Trophy.
Placing second overall at this year's contest was the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, coached by Sandra Sawall and Steve Kelm. Team members included: Ami Cooper, Sara Larson, Labecca Johnson and Nathan Laska. Rounding out the top three teams was the University of Minnesota in third place, coached by Les Hansen, Scott Ellinghuysen and Alicia Thurk. Team members were David Hanson, Jacob Achen, Jayne Esch and Isaac Salfer.
The top overall individual award went to Abbey Wethal from the UW-Madison. The other top individuals are Ryan O'Leary, second, UW-Madison; Angela Sellner, third, South Dakota State University; Mitch Kappelman, fourth, UW-Madison; Labecca Johnson, fifth, UW-River Falls; Sara Larson, sixth, UW-River Falls; Breinne Hendrickson, seventh, UW-Madison; David Hanson, eighth, University of Minnesota; Brett Hildebrandt, UW-Farm & Industry Short Course, ninth; and Jayne Esch, 10th, University of Minnesota.
In the reasons competition UW-Madison took top honors again with second place going to the University of Minnesota, and third place to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Each year the top three individuals for oral reasons receive a special scholarship from the James W. Crowley Fund. This year's top three individuals were: Abbey Wethal, UW-Madison; David Hanson, University of Minnesota; and Jayne Esch, University of Minnesota.
A total of 16 teams participated in this year's contest representing Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. They judged dairy breeds including, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn with each participant placing 10 classes and giving five sets of oral reasons.
This is the first time in 10 years that UW-Madison has been the overall winners of this contest.
A key part of the judging contest is the youth leadspeople. Each year, Vernon County youth assist with the contest by leading the cattle – this year 25 youth participated. In the junior division David Petersheim placed first, Courtney Moser placed second and Krista Hall placed third. Placing first in the senior division was Jacob Leum, second place Arlisa Landis and third was JJ Mcclelland. The sportsmanship award went to Colin Landis. And the overall showmanship winner was Thomas 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.
This contest would not be possible without the tremendous support of the numerous contest and award sponsors. They include: American Guernsey Association, Holstein Association USA, America Jersey Cattle Association, American Milking Shorthorn Society Syndicate, James W. Crowley Fund, Brown Swiss Canton III, Accelerated Genetics, Swiss Valley Farms, Vernon County Agricultural Society, Connie Schmelzer, American Printing/Schumann Printers, Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Merial Ltd., Sci-Tech Premixes, Milk Products, Inc., Pfizer Animal Health, The Baraboo National Bank, The State Bank of Viroqua, Village Market, Chart Industries, Inc., Boehringer-Ingelheim, Hampel Corporation, Star Blends and Church of Christ.