Penn State team wins World Dairy Expo cattle judging contest

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Dairy Judging team from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences took top honors at the recent Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest in Madison, Wis.

The team finished first overall and tops in team reasons at the competition, which was held as part of the 2012 World Dairy Expo. Rounding out the top five overall teams were, in order, the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Iowa State University; the University of Minnesota; and the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Nineteen teams competed in this year’s contest.

The Penn State team was led by Isaac Haagen, of Howard, Pa., a sophomore majoring in Animal Sciences, who was the overall high individual and second high in reasons. The team also included Arial Taxdal, of Bel Air, Md., a sophomore majoring in Animal Sciences, who finished third overall and sixth in reasons; Rebecca Shaw, of Williamsburg, Pa., a junior majoring in Agricultural Business Management, who placed ninth overall; and Dustin Gates, of Warriors Mark, Pa., a junior majoring in Animal Sciences, who finished 19th overall.

The team was coached by Dale Olver, instructor in dairy and animal science.

Penn State was the high team for Ayrshires, Guernseys, Holsteins, and Red and Whites, and earned second in Brown Swiss, fourth in Jerseys, and fifth in Milking Shorthorns. All four team members earned All-American honors in the contest by placing in the top 25 overall high individuals.

Haagen earned first place in Brown Swiss and placed second in Holsteins, third in Ayrshires, and fourth in Guernseys and Milking Shorthorns. Taxdal placed second in Red and Whites, fifth in Jerseys, sixth in oral reasons, seventh in Ayrshires, eighth in Guernseys, and ninth in Holsteins. Shaw earned fifth for Holsteins and for Red and Whites. Gates was fourth in Ayrshires and sixth in Holsteins.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment by our dairy judging team, and I congratulate them for their hard work and dedication," said Terry Etherton, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Animal Science.

"We deeply value judging team experiences for our students because they develop their decision-making skills while learning effective communication skills in defending their placings. We are extremely proud of the students' achievements."

At the Eastern States Exposition in September, the team placed second high team overall and first for oral reasons. In that event, Rebecca Shaw was the high individual, placing first for Ayrshires, Brown Swiss and Jerseys. The team scored highest for Ayrshires and Jerseys. At the All-American Dairy Show's judging competition in Harrisburg in September, the team placed fifth overall and third for oral reasons.

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Last Updated October 08, 2012