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State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held at Albany farm

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ALBANY — Hillside Homestead, a 50-cow dairy in Albany, was a busy place on June 15 as 4-H’ers gathered for the 2024 State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest.

Owners Chet and Renee Baker hosted the competition, providing dairy animals for the judging classes as well as T-shirts for all participants and snacks and milk, which were served by adult volunteer Peggy Kelley of Derby.

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The 24 4-H members, competing by age group, judged two heifer and four cow classes with their scores for each class combined for an overall score and ranking. In addition, senior competitors, ages 14 to 18, provided oral reasons for two classes. Elizabeth Menard, Fairfield, served as the official judge.

University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H, which sponsored the event, provided rosette ribbons for the Top 10 scorers in each age group along with a 4-H backpack for each first-place finisher. Animals for each class were led out and handled by Jared Birch, Coventry; Olyvia Fortin, Morgan; Reegan Kelley, Derby; and Ava LaBlanc, Irasburg. Jared, Olyvia and Reegan are all former Vermont 4-H dairy members. 

Thirteen 4-H teens competed in the senior age group, vying for a spot on the State 4-H Dairy Judging team, which will be selected at a later date. Capturing first place was Brailey Livingston, New Haven. Zach Johnson, Tunbridge, took second with Morgan Michaud, East Hardwick, third.

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Other placements were John McClain, Tunbridge (fourth); Mackenzie Chase, Bristol (fifth); Sylvia Johnson (sixth) and Whitney McClain (seventh), both from Tunbridge; Madelyn Perry, East Montpelier (eighth); Steven Werner, Stannard  (ninth); Nora Demaine (tenth) and Max Demaine (eleventh), both from West Glover; Hailey Bartlett, Bristol (twelfth); and Lydia Clough, Ryegate (thirteenth).

Placements for the 12- and 13-year olds were Emmeline Paquet, East Montpelier (first); Talon Michaud, Greensboro (second); Dawson Michaud, East Hardwick (third); Emma Pothier Newport Center (fourth); Howie Demaine, West Glover (fifth); Carys Wood, East Montpelier (sixth); and Anna Clough, Ryegate (seventh).

In the 10- and 11-year-old age group, Katelyn Sibley placed first, followed by Patrick Paquet, second, and Eli Lidback, third. Katelyn and Patrick are from East Montpelier and Eli from Westmore.

East Montpelier 4-H’er Jasper Paquet earned a first-place rosette ribbon in the 8- and 9-year-old age group.

The judging competition was organized by Wendy Sorrell, UVM Extension 4-H livestock educator with the assistance of Joanna Lidback of Westmore, the State 4-H Dairy Judging team coach. 4-H Educator Lindy Birch handled the scoring and placings with Sorrell. Clara Nadeau, Derby, also helped prepare for the event.

To learn more about the 4-H dairy program, call (802) 656-7641.

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