Dairy Judging Skills Built From Barn Up

9/8/2012 7:00 AM
By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade Special Sections Editor

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. — “This group sorted itself out a handy winner a close placing balance power ... style” were a few of the things that dairy judge Justin Potts said as he worked his way through the Elizabethtown dairy show last month.

As each class walked across the tanbark, Potts had to decide which animal was the best and ultimately — after hours of judging — select one animal as the best of all the bests.

Potts decided that his Holstein champion, a 4-year-old cow named Peila View Wizard Princess, owned by Victoria Peila of New Holland, should take home the supreme banner.

“When you look at her, she was just basically ... very good in mammary, strength, feet and legs, and while she did not excel (in one area), she did not have any holes,” he said. “That is what attracted me to her and what caught your attention.”

Potts has been judging cows as long has he remembers. His first lessons came while growing up on his family’s Loudon County, Va., dairy farm, where his father would select a group of potential show calves every year.

“Dad just started working with us, asking what one do you like,” he said.

Potts and his sister would then have to sort through the group, deciding what calf they believed would do the best in its class. Potts said that was a great way to start out — having to make his case to his father and sister for the calf he wanted.

“My dad was instrumental with that and kept my interest in it,” he said.

s continued honing his judging skills in 4-H and then in college as part of the Virginia Tech dairy judging team.

After graduating, Potts started receiving invitations to judge in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. He also coached the Kansas State dairy judging team while he earned his master’s degree in dairy nutrition.

The official scorecard for dairy judging, issued by the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association (PDCA), has changed slightly through the years. There have been adjustments to points assigned to different traits. Udder and mammary is still the highest with 40 points, and other traits such as dairy strength, feet and legs, and frame make up the balance of the points.

Potts reads publications to keep up on scorecard changes. He likes to watch other people judge as well.

Potts does not live on a dairy farm today. He works for Land O’Lakes overseeing the Farmers Assurance Responsible Management (F.A.R.M) program in southeastern Pennsylvania.

“It’s still one of my favorite parts (of dairy farming). I love the comparison. To do the shows, I love to work with the younger kids to teach them about fitting and how to show,” he said. “It’s fun to see what people are bringing to shows.”

Potts encourages youths to try their hands at showing because the skills needed to judge cattle — decision-making and communication skills — are the same skills needed for other activities.

“It just improves your decision-making in everything immensely. It also improves your speaking ability, and I don’t just mean public speaking just general communication with anybody.”

He said young people can take these elements and apply them to activities like job interviews, scholarship applications and discussing issues with professors.

“The basis of dairy judging is to be able to defend your decisions and to articulate them very well. Learning those basic fundamentals will take you far.”

The other open breed champion winners on Aug. 24 at the Elizabethtown fair included Ayrshire, Tru-Dale Stealth Frankie, owned by Matthew Swendsen; Brown Swiss, Kulp-Gen Tiara, owned by Megan Kulp; Guernsey, Knapps Adorason Cameron, owned by Dale and Judith Shupp; Jersey, Shyrwood Defiant Flame, owned by Jared Wetzel; Lineback, Plenty-Good Advent Evie-Red; Milking Shorthorn, Kulp-Gen Treble Apple-ET, owned by Megan Kulp; and Red and White, Myerose Talent Elise-Red, owned by Kenneth Myer.

The youth Red and White champion was Myerose Wisconsin Della-Red, owned by Katie Donmoyer.

Show results are as follows:

Open Show

RED AND WHITE

Spring calf: Jesse Kline

Winter calf: Katie Donmoyer

Fall calf: Kalli Schwenk

Fall yearling: Joel Musselman

Junior Champion

Joel Musselman

Reserve Junior Champion

Evan Schwenk

Cow, 2-year-old: Katie Donmoyer

Cow, 5 years and older: Kenneth Myer

Dry cow: Allyson Balmer

Senior Champion

Kenneth Myer

Reserve Senior Champion

Plenty Good Dairy

Grand Champion

Kenneth Myer

Reserve Grand Champion

Plenty Good Dairy

Dam and daughter: Allyson Balmer

Dairy herd: Katie Donmoyer

Best Bred and Owned

Kenny Myer

AYRSHIRE

Spring calf: Matthew Swendsen

Fall calf: Nora Mae Briggs

Summer yearling: Nicholas Swendsen

Winter yearling: Nora Mae Briggs

Junior Champion

Nicholas Swendsen

Reserve Junior Champion

Matthew Swendsen

Cow, 2-year-old: Matthew Swendsen

Cow, 3-year-old: Angela Swendsen

Cow, 5 years and older: Sandra Swendsen

Dry cow: Angela Swendsen

Senior Champion

Matthew Swendsen

Reserve Senior Champion

Angela Swendsen

Grand Champion

Matthew Swendsen

Reserve Grand Champion

Angela Swendsen

Dam and daughter: Matthew Swendsen

Dairy herd: Matthew Swendsen

Best Bred and Owned

Angela Swendsen

BROWN SWISS

Spring calf: Royell Bashore

Winter calf: Megan Peila

Fall yearling: Angela Swendsen

Junior Champion

Megan Peila

Reserve Junior Champion

Angela Swendsen

Cow, 2-year-old: Megan Kulp

Cow, 3-year-old: Megan Kulp

Cow, 4-year-old: Megan Peila

Cow, 5 years and older: Megan Kulp

Dry cow: Sandra Swendsen

100,000-pound milking cow: Sandra Swendsen

Senior Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Senior Champion

Royell Bashore

Grand Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Grand Champion

Royell Bashore

Dam and daughter: Megan Kulp

Produce of dam: Megan Kulp

Dairy herd: Megan Kulp

GUERNSEY

Winter yearling: Dale and Judith Shupp

Fall yearling: Dale and Judith Shupp

Junior Champion

Dale and Judith Shupp

Reserve Junior Champion

Dale and Judith Shupp

Cow, 2-year old: Matthew and Charlene Espenshade

Senior Champion

Dale and Judith Shupp

Grand Champion

Dale and Judith Shupp

Reserve Grand Champion

Dale and Judith Shupp

Dairy herd: Dale and Judith Shupp

Best Bred and Owned

Dale and Judith Shupp

HOLSTEIN

Spring calf: Deidra Bollinger

Winter calf: Bradly Moyer

Fall calf: Jay and Amy Bomgarden

Summer yearling: Joel Musselman

Spring yearling: Alana Harrell

Winter yearling: Deidra Bollinger

Fall yearling: Jared Kline

Junior Champion

Joel Musselman

Reserve Junior Champion

Jared Kline

Cow, 2-year-old: Victoria Sweatlock

Cow, 3-year-old: Jay and Amy Bomgardener

Cow, 4-year-old: Victoria Peila

Cow, 5 years and older: Jesse Kline

Senior Champion

Victoria Peila

Reserve Senior Champion

Jay and Amy Bomgardener

Grand Champion

Victoria Peila

Reserve Grand Champion

Jay and Amy Bomgardener

Produce of dam: Troy Longenecker

Junior best of 3: Deidra Bollinger

Dairy herd: Jesse Kline

Best Bred and Owned

Jay and Amy Bomgardener

JERSEY

Spring calf: Royell Bashore

Summer yearling: Emma Peila

Spring yearling: Jared Wetzel

Junior Champion

Emma Peila

Reserve Junior Champion

Jared Wetzel

Cow, 2-year-old: Jacob Kline

Cow, 3-year-old: Jared Wetzel

Cow, 4-year-old: Jared Wetzel

Dry cow: Jared Wetzel

Senior Champion

Jared Wetzel

Reserve Senior Champion

Jacob Kline

Grand Champion

Jared Wetzel

Reserve Grand Champion

Jacob Kline

Dam and daughter: Jared Wetzel

Produce of dam: Klinedell Farm

Dairy herd: Klinedell Farm

Best Bred and Owned

Klinedell Farm

LINEBACK

Spring calf: Deidra Bollinger

Winter calf: Kallie Schwank

Fall calf: Megan Kulp

Summer yearling: Millena Bashore

Winter yearling: Ravyn Bashore

Junior Champion

Royell Bashore

Reserve Junior Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Cow, 2-year-old: Ravyn Bashore

Cow, 4-year-old: Millena Bashore

Dry cow: Royell Bashore

Senior Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Reserve Senior Champion

Deidra Bollinger

Grand Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Reserve Grand Champion

Deidra Bollinger

Dam and daughter: Deidra Bollinger

Junior best of 3: Plenty Good Dairy

Dairy herd: Ravyn Bashore

Best Bred and Owned

Deidra Bollinger

MILKING SHORTHORN

Spring calf: Ravyn Bashore

Spring yearling: Megan Kulp

Junior Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Junior Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Grand Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Grand Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Dairy herd: Plenty Good Dairy

Best Bred and Owned

Megan Kulp

Supreme Champion

Victoria Peila

Youth Show

RED AND WHITE

Spring calf: Jesse Kline

Winter calf: Katie Fonmoyer

Fall calf: Kalli Schwenk

Fall yearling: Jacob Kline

Junior Champion

Evan Schwenk

Reserve Junior Champion

Katie Donmoyer

Cow, 2-year-old: Katie Donmoyer

Dry cow: Allyson Balmer

Senior Champion

Katie Donmoyer

Reserve Senior Champion

Allyson Balmer

Grand Champion

Katie Donmoyer

Reserve Grand Champion

Allyson Balmer

Dam and daughter: Allyson Balmer

AYRSHIRE

Spring calf: Matthew Swendsen

Fall calf: Nora Mae Briggs

Summer yearling: Nicholas Swendsen

Winter yearling: Nora Mae Briggs

Junior Champion

Nicholas Swendsen

Reserve Junior Champion

Matthew Swendsen

Cow, 2-year-old: Matthew Swendsen

Cow, 3-year-old: Nora Mae Briggs

Cow, 5 years and older: Sandra Swendsen

Dry cow: Nora Mae Briggs

Senior Champion

Matthew Swendsen

Reserve Senior Champion

Nora Mae Briggs

Grand Champion

Matthew Swendsen

Reserve Grand Champion

Nora Mae Briggs

Dam and daughter: Matthew Swendsen

Dairy herd: Nora Mae Briggs

BROWN SWISS

Spring calf: Royell Bashore

Winter calf: Megan Peila

Fall yearling: Sandra Swendsen

Junior Champion

Megan Peila

Reserve Junior Champion

Sandra Swendsen

Cow, 2-year-old: Megan Kulp

Cow, 3-year-old: Megan Kulp

Cow, 4-year-old: Megan Peila

Cow, 5 years and older: Megan Kulp

Dry cow: Sandra Swendsen

100,000-pound milking cow: Sandra Swendsen

Senior Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Senior Champion

Royell Bashore

Grand Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Grand Champion

Royell Bashore

Dam and daughter: Megan Kulp

HOLSTEIN

Spring calf: Deidra Bollinger

Winter calf: Bradly Moyer

Fall calf: Troy Longenecker

Summer yearling: Jacob Kline

Spring yearling: Alana Harrell

Winter yearling: Deidra Bollinger

Fall yearling: Jared Kline

Junior Champion

Jared Kline

Reserve Junior Champion

Alana Harrell

Cow, 2-year-old: Harvey Espenshade

Cow, 4-year-old: Victoria Peila

Cow, 5 years and older: Jesse Kline

Senior Champion

Victoria Peila

Reserve Senior Champion

Jesse Kline

Grand Champion

Victoria Peila

Reserve Grand Champion

Jesse Kline

JERSEY

Spring calf: Royell Bashore

Summer yearling: Emma Peila

Spring yearling: Jared Wetzel

Junior Champion

Emma Peila

Reserve Junior Champion

Jared Wetzel

Cow, 2-year-old: Jacob Kline

Cow, 3-year-old: Jared Wetzel

Cow, 4-year-old: Jared Wetzel

Dry cow: Jared Wetzel

Senior Champion

Jared Wetzel

Reserve Senior Champion

Jacob Kline

Grand Champion

Jared Wetzel

Reserve Grand Champion

Jacob Kline

Dam and daughter: Jared Wetzel

LINEBACK

Spring calf: Deidra Bollinger

Winter calf: Kallie Schwank

Fall calf: Megan Kulp

Summer yearling: Millena Bashore

Winter yearling: Ravyn Bashore

Junior Champion

Royell Bashore

Reserve Junior Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Cow, 2-year-old: Ravyn Bashore

Cow, 4-year-old: Millena Bashore

Dry cow: Royell Bashore

Senior Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Reserve Senior Champion

Deidra Bollinger

Grand Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Reserve Grand Champion

Deidra Bollinger

Spring calf: Ravyn Bashore

Spring yearling: Megan Kulp

Junior Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Junior Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Grand Champion

Megan Kulp

Reserve Grand Champion

Ravyn Bashore

Supreme Champion

Victoria Peila


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