Our 2019 Dairy Stock Judging competition took place on Thursday 25th July at Pilsdon Dairy Farm near Bridport by kind permission of the Bugler family. Our judge this year was Dairy farmer, Mrs Jane Targett of Castle Cary and the competition is open to any Young Farmers Clubs with classes for all ages.
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. Every dairy wants a herd of cows that will be able to produce the milk but will be able to have a calf and maintain a good level of health throughout the lactation.
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 need to look at 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, with a body capacity sufficient to support the milk and a growing calf.
Pilsdon Dairy Farm have a high yielding herd of pedigree Holstein housed in a purpose-built unit. Working in teams of two, the Young Farmers were tasked to assess 4-6 of their dairy cows and place them in order [best to poorest] giving the reasons for their decision – Juniors and Intermediate 4 cows and seniors 6. They then presented their findings to the Judge who marks them using a complex marking system based on accuracy of observation and comparisons.
“It was great to see so many enthusiastic young people taking part and venturing into the career of dairy farming. They all did extremely well. It was a great pleasure for me to have the chance to see them in action and for them to have the opportunity to assess cows from a top-class diary unit”” said Judge and Dairy Farmer, Jane Targett.
The prizes were presented by Society President, Mr Tim Frost.
1st and winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society Junior Shield- Matthew & Joanna House, Marshwood Vale YFC
2nd – Henrietta Love & Charlie Robinson, Sherborne YFC
3rd – Emily & Elizabeth Bell, WedmorenYFC
1st and winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society shield – Julia Samways & Georgia Pagett, Crewkerne YFC.
2nd – Shaunna Knight & Izzy Minshall, Marshwood Vale YFC
3rd – Amy Wonnacott & Lindsay Gubbins, Marshwood Vale YFC
1st and winners of the Francis W Hunt Perpetual Challenge Cup – Aaron Turner & Louise Dowding, Marshwood Vale YFC
2nd: Luke Johnson & Tom Turner, Marshwood Vale YFC
3rd – Hilary Hansford & Toby Wonnacott, Hermitage & Hillfield YFC
Best Newcomer: Georgia Pagett, Crewkerne YFC
Highest Placed Individual: Joanna House, Marshwood Vale YFC