Dairy Cattle

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University contact person:  Cory Weigel

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Contest Purpose:  To provide a competitive event for high school agriculture students, empahsizing skills in dairy cattle selection and dairy herd management.


  1. To provide high school agriculture students with dairy interests a practical experience that will serve them well in industry positions or in management of a modern dairy herd.
  2. To develop students' skills in observation, analysis and communication.
  3. To provide experience in the evaluation of dairy cattle type, production records and dairy herd management.
  4. To encourage high school agriculture teachers to seek assistance from various resources in the dairy industry.  (Examples: dairy breed associations, artificial breeding associations, state extension dairy specialists, state DHI associations, dairy equipment manufacturers, local dairy farmers and breeders, etc.)

Event format:

A.  Dairy Management Exercise

  1. This will consist of a 25 to 60 question written exam involving dairy management practices and DHI records.
  2. The exam will be worth 60 points toward the total score.
  3. This exam will be taken by the students on campus prior to their leaving for the farm to judge the cattle.

B.  Pedigree Class

  1. One class of pedigrees (no animals present) will be ranked as to their indication of the animals' ability to transmit superior production and type traits to offspring.  This exercise is worth 50 points for a perfect placing.
  2. Other facotrs include completeness (number of records), accuracy (reliability), level of performance (type and production) and profitability.

C.  Linear Evaluation

  1. One cow will be evaluated for 10 primary linear traits and for final classification score.  The linear traits evaluated are: dairy form, Front Teat Placeemnt, udder Depth, Rear Udder Height, Rear Udder Width, Fore Udder Attachment, Rear Legs Side View, Rump Angle, Body Depth and Stature. (100 points maximum)
  2. Participants will be afforded a close-up view this cow.  Evaluations will be completed at a distance of approximately ten feet from the cow.  Participants will not be permitted to handle the cow.
  3. The correct evaluation of the 10 traits is worth 40 points.  
  1. Correct evaluation of the final score for the cow is worth 10 points

D.  Evaluation and Selection

  1. Five classes of four dairy animals each will be place on type.  Classes will be Holstein cows or Holstein heifers.
  2. Participants will be permitted to view the animals but will not be permitted to handle them.
  3. The correct placing in each class will be worth 50 points.

E.  Oral reasons

  1. Oral reasons will be required on one class, which will be designated by the event superintendent.
  2. Oral reasons will be given in the rotation following the class designated as the reasons class.
  3. A perfect score on oral reasons is worth 50 points.
  4. Patricipants should not use notes during delivery of reasons.  If notes are used, a maximum score is 40 points.
  5. Participants will be given at least 12 minutes to prepare their set of reasons.