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

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March 21, 2010

The Future of Dairy

We had such a busy and fun weekend! Saturday morning we headed over to Sonoma, CA to the Neles-Johnson Dairy where the Redwood Empire Holstein Association held it's annual Dairy Judging Day competition. Last year's Dairy Judging State Championship Team from Petaluma FFA (Future Farmers of America) along with Dominic (their coach) were asked to officiate at this weekend's event. Read more about the Dairy Judging State Championship Team that Dominic was and is so proud to coach and their invitation to compete in the Royal Highland Show in Scotland this coming June.....HERE. The Championship Team: Sam, Rocco, Mandy and Kelli - three of which presently attend Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA and one is a Senior in high school at the present time, gave their free time to volunteer for this event. This is what it's all about, helping, motivating and inspiring the younger kids to achieve......

The object of Dairy Cattle Judging or Dairy Cattle Evaluation is, to develop the student's skills in observation and analysis of dairy cattle.

Here, Rocco is showing the kids how it's done by explaining his reasons why he placed the four cows in a certain order - number one being the most favorable and number four being the least favorable....

The future of dairy.......... Here, Mandy is reciting her reasons for the placement of cows......

Bryce and Paige were inspired to try judging themselves. Here they are looking at udder placement.......

Dominic and Tony Neles explaining to the younger of the kids the placement of the cows and the reasoning behind it........

Mandy, Dominic and Kelli working on the 'Official' placings for the calf and heifer class.....

The calf class (near) and the heifer class (far).........

Alex and Sam placing the calves............

This is the Judging Card that the participants use. There are 24 different placement choices for each set of four cows, heifers or calves. Competitors 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 officials as to why they have placed them in that particular order.

Cute calves.........

After Bryce completed his placements, he got a little crazy with the pen.....all over his face....

A nice barbecue lunch was served after the competition.......

Trophies to be won.........

A participation medal for Bryce in the 'Pee Wee' division. He was also high in placings for his division......thanks for helping him Rocco!

Paige also received a participant medal. Bryce and Paige were just along for the ride today but what they saw at this event really motivated them to participate. A great experience for them both and for all the kids involved.

To join the FaceBook group 'Petaluma FFA Dairy Judging Team' click HERE.

Happy Sunday!

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