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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — The Dunn County 4-H Dairy Judging Team will be headed to the international dairy judging contest in Scotland in June.
Members of the Dunn County dairy judging team — Hannah Ullom, Ben Styer, Fritz Ullom, Marie Haase and Abby Powers — gave a presentation to the Dunn County Board at the January 15 meeting.
The dairy judging team is coached by Jim Powers and Scott Nelson, who have coached the dairy judging team for the past 25 years.
“It’s something that is truly a passion of ours. And dairy judging goes far beyond just looking at dairy cattle,” Powers said.
Dairy judging team members learn to analyze the desirable and undesirable traits of a dairy cow and how those traits impact profitability for the dairy farmer, said Ben Styer.
The Dunn County dairy judging program averages about 20 participants each year, he said.
The Dunn County 4-H Dairy Judging Team competed at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held at World Dairy Expo in October in Madison.
The team had to place 10 classes of dairy cattle and give five sets of “oral reasons” that explain why they placed the dairy cows in the class as they did.
There were 19 teams at the national competition, with 71 individuals competing.
Dunn County took first place, with first in oral reasons and first in placing dairy cows.
Marie Haase was first place overall, with first in placing and first in oral reasons. Ben Styer was fourth overall, seventh in placing and fourth in oral reasons. Abby Powers placed seventh in oral reasons. Fritz Ullom placed 16th in oral reasons.
The Dunn County team started out the progression heading toward the international contest by first winning the district contest with Marie Haase in first place, Fritz Ullom in third place, and Abby Powers in fifth place.
The Dunn County 4-H Dairy Judging Team became state champions this past July, with Ben Styer placing second, Fritz Ullom placing fourth, and Hannah Ullom as the next highest placing individual.
“The Dunn County team is the Wisconsin team,” said Abby Powers, who explained that most of the other states take the top four individuals at their state contests and make an “all-star” team.
The team technically has four members, although Hannah Ullom is considered the fifth member.
Ullom said her birthday is in December, so she was 19 years old for the 2019 dairy judging season.
“I could still judge at the district and state level, but I was ineligible to judge at the national level,” Hannah Ullom explained.
The Wisconsin 4-H Association looked for someone to fill in on the team for the national competition, and the person selected is Marie Haase, who is in her last year of eligibility for dairy judging, she said.
The Dunn County 4-H Dairy Judging Team will be headed to the International Dairy Judging Contest from June 14 to July 1. They will start out with the Royal Highland Show in Scotland and also will participate in another show in Ireland.
A spaghetti fund-raising dinner to help the dairy team with their expenses for the international contest is planned at Dean & Sue’s Bar and Grill on February 29.