Ayrshire cattle being judged at the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport June 23.
Photo by Susie Marchand
Bridport Vermont 4-H Club members turned out in force at the annual Vermont 4-H Dairy Judging Contest held at two Addison County farms June 23.
The sanctioned event took place at Men-Da Jerseys Farm in Addison, and the Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport. Three classes of Jerseys, two classes of Holsteins, and two classes of Ayrshires were on the judging block.
Four Vermont 4-H dairy members earned a place on the 2013 Vermont 4-H dairy judging team.
Sara Ingwersen of Addison; Cassie Westcom of Enosburg; Britney Hill of Bristol; and Brooke Aicher of Shelburne will represent Vermont in competition at Eastern States Exposition and at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin. The alternates are Sara Moye, of Vernon, and Ben Maille, of Shelburne.
Other cattle judging placers were also noted:
Ages eight to nine years: Riley Marchand of Charlotte; Caroline Kirby and Brennan Vaughan of East Montpelier, and Karissa Livingston of New Haven.
Ages 10 to 11 years: Seth Carson of Newbury, Callie Walker of Stowe, Adele Biasini of Morrisville, and Emily Carson of Newbury.
Ages 12 to 13 years: Cole Goodhue of Fairfield, Therese Rainville of Fairfield, Tim Carson of Newbury, and Aaron Sweet of Richford.
Other 4-H team members included Kirsten Breau of Vernon, Brian McGarry of Enosburg, Tiffany Tracey of Vergennes, and Kathryn Wright of Enosburg.
Among the three bovine breeds judged were the less common cattle breed known as Ayrshire.
The Ayrshire originated from Ayrshire in Scotland.
The average mature Ayrshire cow weighs between 990–1,300 pounds making it among the largest dairy breeds.
According to Lisa Halvorsen of the University of Vermont, Ayrshires have distinguished red markings. But the markings can range from orange to a dark-chocolate brown. Some individuals have colored legs, others not.
Halvorsen noted that the breed is recognized by dairy producers for its low somatic cell counts, its supreme ability to digest grass and convert into milk with excellent efficiently. The breed’s is also climate hardy over many zones and ideal for changing climates globally.
Ayrshires were lined up at the Blue Spruce Farm for judging during the 4-H event making it the largest gathering of the breed, in one place at one time, in Vermont.