A record number of 4-H’ers participated in the annual 4-H State Dairy Show, held in New Haven, Vermont.

The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension event, which was held at the Addison County Fair and Field Days grounds, attracted 93 participants, ages 11 to 18, which is the most in recent years. All first had to qualify through interviews, 4-H record-keeping and county dairy show competitions.

The 4-H’ers competed in fitting and showmanship classes where judges evaluated them on their poise and presentation of their animal, as well as their handling of their animal. In the conformation classes, arranged by age and breed of the animal, scores were based on the physical structure, condition and appearance of the animal. Judges for the event were Rick Allyn, Canaan, Connecticut (Holsteins), and Steve Morrill, DeKalb Junction, New York (other breeds).

Shelby Biasini of Morrisville was named the Senior Fitting and Showing Champion, with the Junior Champion going to Isabel Hall of East Montpelier. Isabel also earned Junior Champion in the 2013 4-H State Dairy Show.

In the conformation classes, individuals who earned championships for their breed were:

Ayrshire: Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Isabella Williams, Brandon, with her winter yearling.

Brown Swiss: Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Shelby Biasini, Morrisville, with her winter yearling.

Guernsey: Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Tasha Hescock, Shoreham, with her 2-year-old cow; Junior Champion: Renwick Smith, Waits River, with his winter yearling

Holstein: Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Maggie Kirby, East Montpelier, with her fall calf

Jersey: Senior Champion and Grand Champion: Megan Hill, New Haven, with her 3-year-old cow; Junior Champion: Virginia Patz, Shoreham, with her winter yearling

Milking Shorthorn: Junior Champion and Grand Champion: Sarah Flanders, Clarendon, with her fall calf

In addition, 30 of the top exhibitors were chosen to compete in the New England regional 4-H dairy show at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Two special awards were presented at the 4-H dairy show. Maggie Kirby of East Montpelier received the John Knapp Award for the second year in a row. This award goes to the individual earning the highest scores at the Vermont 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest, which was held last March. It honors the late John Knapp, a long-time 4-H volunteer who coached the state dairy quiz bowl team for several years.

The Ed Gould Award was presented to Bourdeau Brothers of Middlebury, a friend of 4-H. This award is given in memory of Gould, a staunch supporter of the dairy industry, to an adult or friend of 4-H who provides leadership and strong support to the Vermont 4-H dairy program.

To learn more about the Vermont 4-H dairy program, contact Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator, at 802-656-5418 or wendy.sorrell@uvm.edu.