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Maryland’s dairy students had a great season

Pictured are Coach Kiera Funicane, Ian Doody, Julia Doody, Cassidy Schirmer, Courtney Hoff and Coach Anne Davis.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- The Maryland State Fair presented the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences with the opportunity to work with the University dairy herd, the State Fair Birthing Center and countless 4-H contests over the “11 Best Days of Summer.”

“Students gained experience in educating the general public about the practices and benefits of production agriculture while our staff and faculty worked to create educational experiences for students, 4-H members and the public,” stated Kiera Finucane, program coordinator from the University of Maryland.

One such event was the 4-H and FFA Maryland State Dairy Judging Contest. The 93 contestants evaluated 10 classes of cattle and ranked them on their confirmation when compared to breed standards. The quality of the dairy cattle in Maryland is known nation-wide and this year 225 people from collegiate, junior college and 4-H teams from around the country traveled to participate in the contest.

Dairy judging provides youth an opportunity to learn public speaking, leadership, analytical skills and most of all how to work together as a team. These skills serve the 4-H members well after their career in 4-H has come to an end. By all accounts, the 2013 Maryland State Fair was a great success! Two outstanding teams of 4-Hers were selected to represent Maryland at national contests.

The Bea Pfefferkorn Memorial Awards were presented to the highest scoring junior, Emma Schnebly, and intermediate individual, Todd Allen, in oral reasons.

The Dorothy Emerson Memorial Award was presented to Ian Doody, the high scoring senior individual in oral reasons.

The Select Sire Power, Inc. Award was presented to the highest scoring senior 4-H member on placings, Cassidy Schirmer of Kent County.

Ian Doody also won the John L. Morris Trophy presented to the senior 4-H member with the highest overall score for all breeds.

A $1000 donation from the John B. Merryman Endowment Fund at the Maryland 4-H Foundation, Inc. will be presented to support the Maryland 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Teams participating in regional and national competition.

The team competing at the All-American Contest and World Dairy Expo, coached by Anne Davis and Kiera Finucane, includes Ian Doody, Montgomery County; Courtney Hoff, Carroll County; Cassidy Schirmer, Kent County; and Julia Doody, Montgomery County. The team finished first at the Invitational Youth Dairy Judging Contest at the All-American Dairy Show held on September 9 in Harrisburg, Pa. They were the high team in oral reasons as well as the Ayrshire and Guernsey breeds, with Ian Doody finishing as the top individual overall and in oral reasons. The team competes next at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.

The team competing at the North American International Livestock Expo and coached by Barbara Schenning Minde and Kiera Finucane includes Curtis Gannon, Montgomery County; Cory Zimmerman, Montgomery County; Dunchadhn Lyons, Montgomery County; and Catherine Savage, Montgomery County.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to travel with and showcase the efforts of the Maryland 4-Hers this fall and thank everyone for their continued support of the program,” Ms. Finucane concluded.