The Virginia Tech Dairy Cattle Judging team won several honors at three cattle judging contests it attended this fall.
The team consisted of junior Stephanie Echols of Union, W. Va.; senior Beau Leech of Lexington, Va.; senior Jenny Luchsinger of Syracuse, N.Y.; and junior Elizabeth Moss of Cottage Grove, Tenn. The students are all majoring in dairy science. Dairy science professors Katharine Knowlton and Michael Barnes were the students' coaches.
The contests attended by the team were the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Mass., the Pennsylvania All-American in Harrisburg, Pa., and the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.
At Eastern States, the team placed first in Avrshires, second in Brown Swiss, third in Holsteins, third in milking Shorthorns, and third overall. At the Pennsylvania All-American, they placed fourth in the Linear Evaluation Contest and eighth overall. At the World Dairy Expo, the team placed fifth in Brown Swiss, 11th in Shorthorns, 11th in oral reasons, and 16th overall.
In individual honors, Jenny Luchsinger placed 25th at the World Dairy Expo and Stephanie Echols placed 12th in reasons.
In order to evaluate cattle in preparation for the contests, the team traveled to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. While traveling, the team visited 32 farms and saw many of the best show cattle in the country.
Being part of the judging team allowed the all four members many opportunities to develop professionally and personally. The farm visits and competitions allowed them to improve their ability to judge dairy cattle and give reasons, while also teaching them to work better as a team.
Written by Amy Mortensen, a communications student and an intern with University Relations at Virginia Tech.