State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

The Maine 4-H Dairy Committee is pleased to announce that the State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest and a judging clinic will be held on June 26th at Happy Acres Farm in Troy, Maine. The event will start with a judging clinic that will be followed by the judging contest. Youth will judge two sets of classes, one heifer class, and one cow class, and be asked to give reasons on the cow class.

The address for Happy Acres Farm is located at 472 Bagley Hill Rd. Troy, Maine 04987.

For questions about the event or to request a reasonable accommodation, please contact Tara Marble  (207.491.5660) or Sadee Mehuren (207.342.5971).

Schedule of Events:

  • 10:00: Arrival and Registration
  • 10:30-12:00 Judging Clinic
  • 12:00-12:30 Lunch (please bring your own bagged lunch for the day)
  • 12:30-1:00 Judging Contest (one heifer class and one cow class)
  • 1:00-1:30 Reasons
  • 1:30-2:00 Go Over Class Placings
  • 2:00-2:30 Awards followed by departure

State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Procedures

  1. Upon arrival at the farm set up boot wash station for biosecurity
  2. Someone can start taking registrations any time after youth begin to arrive. Hand out judging cards, pencils, and notepaper/cards to all contestants as they register.
  3. Locate the classes and number them with the large number cards. Be consistent in numbering throughout the contest. They can be numbered either right to left or left to right.
  4. Visit with the owner and judge to determine which class(s) will be best to use for reasons classes. A cow class with lots of difference between animals is the best to give youth more to talk about.  Easy to place classes enable the youth to concentrate more on their notes and reasons then placing. We only need two reasons classes for the day so one from each farm works fine. At this time determine who will take reasons for each of the reasons classes.
  5. Gather all the contestants
    1. Remind the contestants about the biosecurity and cleaning their shoes before and after each farm.  Make sure to clean soles of shoes. You may need to refresh disinfectant periodically as it becomes dirty.
    2. Give the youth a short warning about doing their own work, talking while judging ect. Let them know the schedule for the day. Also let them know if they have any questions or need help filling out their cards who they should contact.
    3. Introduce the official judge for the day.
    4. Identify the person collecting the cards for each class.
    5. Remind them they will have 12 minutes for each placing class and 15 minutes for reasoning classes.
    6. Depending on the number of contestants and room in barn, you may have to divide the youth up into groups so they will be able to see the classes better. If someone is going to work with the juniors split them off in their own group away from the seniors. Give the juniors a copy of the PDCA scorecards to help them with their Judging
  6. Have contestants begin judging classes. As they gather around a class of animals, remind them how much time they have and if they are judging a reasons or placing class.  If some youth are judging a reason class and some are judging a placing class give them all 15 minutes.
  7. Begin collecting them as they finish. Do not allow then to go to the next class until everyone is finished with the class.
  8. Gather the official placings and cuts from the judge. The total cuts can be no more than 15 points, with no more than 5 points on the middle cut. Judges tend to go too easy on cuts. Easy classes should have total cuts > 10 points, difficult classes, 6-10 total cuts. Scorning of contestant cards can begin at any time after a class is completed. You can also wait until the second farm, since you’ll have plenty of time to score while contestants are eating lunch and giving reasons.
  9. Change classes after allotted time until all classes are judged.
  10. When everyone is finished gather them all back up.
    1. First introduce farm owner and have then say a few words about the history of the farm and the cattle. Then have them talk a little about the cows that are being judged.
    2. Next reintroduce the official judge and have them talk about the placings classes ( not reason classes) and give contestants the official placings and cuts.
    3. After all placing classes have been discussed, thank the farm owner.
    4. Remind everyone to rewash their shoes.
    5. Make sure everyone knows how to get to the next farm or is following someone who does.
  11. Travel to second farm. Upon arrival set up computer and start entering contestant info into the computer. Someone can also start/finish scoring cards from the first farm.
  12. Upon arrival at second farm repeat 1, 3, and 4. Then gather contestants to provide them with any additional information about classes, locations, bathroom, etc.
  13. Judge classes as on the first farm, collect and score cards as classes are completed.
  14. When all classes are finished, gather everyone back up and repeat 10a, 10b, and 10c.  
  15. With everyone still gathered,
    1. Fill them in on plans for lunch and reasons.  
    2. Identify 2 locations where reasons will be taken. Split contestants in half for giving reason. Start first half preparing for reasons on first reason class.  Start other half on second reason class.
    3. Explain new process for juniors: We ask that all juniors go in and talk with the judges and/or give reasons. For the junior members that participate they may receive a possible 30 points. 5 points will be awarded for each junior member that goes in to talk to each reasons judge, if they give reasons they may earn up to 10 more points for a total possible 15 point per judge, 30 points total to be added to their final score.
  16. Eat and have them prepare reasons.
  17. Position reason judges. Remind reason’s judges to keep reasons scores in the range of 20-45 points. Then start taken reasons. Have judge’s record scores for each contestant.
  18. Keep pushing contestants to finish up. When all reason are given, enter scores into computer, Excel will have calculated total and reasons score for each contestant. If you haven’t save prior to this, save another backup copy of the Excel file at this time!
  19. You can determine the winners by just looking at the scores and picking them out from high to low.  In the case of a tie in total score, the tie is broken by the total reason’s score. If tied there as well then record them as a tie.
  20. Or in Excel, highlight all the contestant data and add three levels to the data sort
    1. Level 1 is sort first on Junior or Senior. To separate juniors and seniors.
    2. Level 2 in a sort on total score from high to low. To sort high to low individuals.
    3. Level 3 sort of reasons score from high to low. To break tie
  21. Thank official judge one last time.  Announce winners. Remind them to wash shoes one last time.  Make sure everyone knows how to head home from second farm.