Our 2016 competition was kindly hosted by Andrew and Helen Fry of Higher Sturthill Farm, Shipton Gorge near Bridport. The Judge was Mr David Sayer from Cannington near Bridgwater. Six teams were entered from Marshwood Vale, Beaminster, Ilminster, Sherborne and Puddletown and were tasked to judge a pen of Holstein Dairy Cows.
Dairy Stock Judging is an important event and skill for Young Farmers. Its purpose is to train them to look for and assess the type of traits that are beneficial for long lasting, healthy cows that will also produce plenty of milk. For every breed of cow, there is a “True Type Model” which is the ideal cow. The competitor must keep this in mind as they assess each animal. They will be looking for the functional traits such as good legs and feet leading to good locomotion, a well attached udder with enough width and height to hold the high milk yields expected from a modern cows, with body capacity sufficient to support the milk and a growing calf. Working in teams of two, the Young Farmers are tasked to assess the dairy cows and place them in order [best to poorest] giving the reasons for their decision. They then present their findings to the Judge who marks them using a complex marking system based on accuracy of observation and comparisons.
1st and winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society Junior Shield- Jasper Love & Henrietta Love – Sherborne YFC
1st and winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society shield – Shaunna Knight & Luke Johnston – Marshwood Vale YFC
2nd: Lucy Wallbridge & James Wallbridge – Beaminster YFC
3rd: Ben Batstone & Harry Dibble – Ilminster YFC
1st and winners of the Francis W Hunt Perpetual Challenge Cup – Toby Wonnacott and Henry Cox, Puddletown YFC
2nd: Lucy Milne & Michael Crabb – Beaminster YFC
Best Newcomer: Jasper Love, Sherborne YFC
Highest Placed Individual: Shaunna Knight, Marshwood Vale YFC