Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

January 18, 2010

The Dairy Judging Team

Today, Dominic has his Dairy Judging Team coming over for practice. The Dairy Evaluation Team consists of between four to six students from Petaluma High School Future Farmers of America. Dominic volunteers his time to coach the team once a week between the months of January to May. He has been doing this for the past seven years. The object of Dairy Cattle Evaluation is to develop the student's skills in observation and analysis of dairy cattle, team collaboration, and problem-solving skills necessary to successfully analyze herd management records as they relate to modern dairy practices. During the team's evaluation of a group of four cows, they assess things such as, udder, frame, dairy strength, and feet and legs for mobility. After the competitor places them, they must then give a "set of reasons" to the judges as to why they have placed them in that particular order. The team members are judged individually and as a whole. The competitions are held at various colleges across the state between the months of March and May, ending at the State Finals held every May at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. ~ This is always a fun trip for me and the kids to tag along....we hang out at the Madonna Inn swimming pool with friends. This past year, the 2008-2009 team consisted of four students, three of them being Seniors and one a Junior ~ Kelli, Mandy, Sam & Rocco. They made up a really excellent team and they worked very hard. Well, their hard work paid off. They ended up winning the California State Finals at Cal Poly! This enabled them to now, represent California on a national level. For the national competition, they traveled to Indianapolis last October along with many chaperons, including Dominic, to compete. They were very excited to be able to have the experience of competing nationally. The experience alone, was rewarding enough, an accomplishment to be extremely proud of. After the national competition, the team thought they had done pretty well. The awards ceremony was a luncheon the day after the competition. As the announcer began calling out the names of teams that had placed, the entire Petaluma group grew more and more excited. They were up to the third place team, still, the California team had not been called. Second place goes to California!! Lots of cheers and excitement! When a team places in the top three, nationally, they are invited to compete on an international level the following June (June 2010) at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland! The invitation comes on behalf of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers. A Little About FFA FFA is such a wonderful organization that gives kids so many opportunities and experiences. This organization makes a positive difference in the lives of young people by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education. Today, student members are engaged in a wide range of curriculum and FFA activities, leading to over 300 career opportunities in agriculture. FFA programs are funded through sponsorships and private donations at the local, state and national level. National dues for each member are $5 per year. Petaluma FFA Dairy Judging Team is currently trying to raise funds to pay for their trip to Scotland. If you would like to contribute, checks can be made payable to: "Petaluma FFA Champion Team Fund" mailed to: Kim Arntz, Chair Petaluma High School Agriculture Dept. 201 Fair Street Petaluma, CA 94952 Pin It
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