PENDLETON, SC—Clemson University hosted the 2016 4-H State Dairy Judging Contest at the T. ED Garrison Arena on March 4th. The event featured over 80 4-H and FFA members, where youth members were tasked with judging four classes of dairy cattle in each of the breeds represented at the Clemson University Spring Dairy Show: Jersey, Brown Swiss, Holstein, and Guernsey.

The members were asked to evaluate and rank the breeds according to standards based on breed and type characteristics, and then to defend their rankings to officials. The York County 4-H Dairy Club was the high scoring senior team, represented by Riley Moss, Amarillo Nivens, and Dallas Nivens; along with their coach, Mrs. Carrie Bolin, and the York County 4-H agent, Faith Israel.

4-H team

Left to Right: Coach Carrie Bolin, high individual Riley Moss, Amarillo Nivens, and Dallas Nivens

The high scoring junior team was the Saluda County 4-H Dairy Club. Coached by Mrs. Connie Lake. Team members included Layne Crouch, Kelly Wertz, and Ellie Harman.

Clemson University also hosted the 2016 State Milk Quality and Products Contest, where 50 4-H and FFA members competed. The contest prepares youth to identify and judge dairy products based on quality, flavor, texture and appearance, all of which indicate the production conditions that can influence the quality of the dairy product. Youth members must judge cheese, milk, dairy products, and answer questions about the food industry.

Belton-Honea Path 4-H Dairy Foods team was the highest scoring of the senior group. Represented by Madison Greer, Perri Oliver, and the high scoring individual, Jessica Knox. The team was coached by Mr. Glenn Stevens, Belton-Honea Path FFA Advisor, and Mrs. Jessica Simpson, Anderson County 4-H Agent.

The 4-H Livestock program serves as a vital tool in youth development, teaching life skills through hands on learning activities with livestock, and educating them on agricultural practices.

For more information, contact your local 4-H Extension Agent or the South Carolina 4-H Youth Livestock Program Coordinator, Dr. Meghan Wood at mlmcpha@clemson.edu.