Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock hosted its first 4-H dairy clinic and show on the weekend of June 24-25, with 12 Vermont 4-H dairy members camping overnight on the grounds with their dairy animals.
The 2023 Youth Invitational Dairy Show featured a clinic on Saturday with interactive activities designed to help participants succeed in the show ring. To help them better understand what judges look for, Jen Thygesen, Tunbridge, conducted a judging workshop with animals from the Billings Farm. She also led a fitting and showing workshop where the 4-Hers took part in a practice round with their own animal to learn how to show it to its best advantage.
Museum visitors were invited to stop by the Show Barn to meet the 4-H kids and their animals. The 4-Hers also had an opportunity to participate in some of the Billings Farm and Museum’s regularly scheduled activities including observing ricotta cheese and butter making demonstrations and crafting a dairy cow headband, among other fun experiences.
On Sunday the dairy show was held, beginning with the fitting and showing competitions, followed by the conformation classes.
The results for the fitting and showing championships were as follows. These were arranged according to the exhibitor’s age. Scoring and placements were based on how well each exhibitor presented and handled his or her animal.
The top two finishers in each age division competed for the title of Overall Fitting and Showing Champion, which went to Patty Bruce of Wallingford. Gracie Bromley (also from Wallingford) was named Reserve Fitting and Showing Champion.
Younger exhibitors, including 4-H Cloverbuds (ages 5-7) and Novices (first time showing), were eligible to participate in fitting and showing for the experience but were not placed.
At the conclusion of the fitting and showmanship classes, all exhibitors, including the Cloverbuds and Novices, competed in conformation classes, arranged by breed and age of the animal. The animals were judged on condition, physical structure and overall appearance. Several 4-Hers entered animals in more than one breed class.
Grand Championships, listed by breed, were won by the following:
Ayreshire: Gracie Bromley, Wallingford, with her spring yearling, Bromley Dynamic McFlurry
Brown Swiss: Ellie Riendeau, Wheelock, with her spring calf, Gypsy
Guernsey: Thomas Poro, Florence, with his spring calf, Walnut Ridge TK Nutella
Holstein: Daniel Bruce, Wallingford, with his winter calf, Sherpa
Jersey: Patty Bruce with her fall calf, Sandra
All five grand champions competed for All Breeds Supreme Champion, with Daniel Bruce capturing the title.
The event was organized by Molly McFaun, UVM Extension 4-H educator for Orange and Washington counties. She was assisted by Melissa Bovey and Megan Parsons, both from Florence; Sarah Bromley, Stephen Bruce, and Melissa Riendeau, all from Wallingford; and Jen Thygesen, Tunbridge.