The winner of the high overall award for individual judging at the World Dairy Expo says being a member of BYU’s Judging Team brings benefits of travel, experience and rewards.
Earlier this month, Pam Argyle traveled with BYU students Stephanie Smith, Stephanie Naseath and Sara Wadsworth to the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., as members of the Judging Team.
“We judge dairy cows and decide which is the best cow for its breed. It sounds easy but it’s not. The cows we judge are worth over $50,000,” said Argyle, a senior from Orem studying agriculture.
The judging process involves students evaluating dairy cows from six different classes. Students are allowed 15 minutes to evaluate the animals and turn in their placing to the judges, said Doug Andrus, team coach and manager of the BYU Dairy Herd Farm. Students are then asked to defend before the judges their placings of the cows.
“The team is a great experience for students to travel as well as to learn good speaking and people skills,” Argyle said.
BYU’s Judging Team competed against 27 other university teams and against 110 students. Argyle took the high overall award in individual judging.
“Most of the students we compete against have been doing this their whole lives. Our team has only been judging for a year,” Argyle said. “I was pretty excited. I almost died when I heard I won; I couldn’t believe it.”
Winning this award is an honor in the dairy industry, and knowing how to judge will present Argyle with more employment opportunities.
“In the dairy industry, winning judging awards is very prestigious and opens up a lot of opportunities. Knowing how to accurately evaluate animals open a lot of doors for future employment,” said Andrus, who has worked at BYU for 15 years. “Having someone win an individual overall from BYU is quite an accomplishment. No one from BYU has done it before.”
The Judging Team consists of both dairy judging and livestock judging. Each team has their own coach and attends separate competitions, Andrus said.
Students register for a dairy judging practice class to learn the skills of judging. Four students each year are chosen from the class to be on a judging team, Andrus said.