David Ley, Washington, had a successful 2019 Market Dairy Show at the Washington Town & Country Fair, Friday, Aug. 9. He took home three of the top honors with his Holstein dairy cow.

He won grand champion, senior showmanship and the best udder awards. Ley broke Elizabeth Scheer’s streak of three straight years of best udder.

Ley is a member of the Krakow 4-H Club and has been competing for years.

“Ever since I was little, when I turned 8 or 9, I was able to show classes since then,” he said. “I’m going to be a senior this year, so next year will probably be my last year.”

The market competition had many familiar family names competing in the event, including Vedder and Eckstein. There were nine entries in the class.

“I like when there is more competition and I’m able to compete with people, not just out there on my own,” Ley said.

With familiar families competing year after year, Ley said a good rapport is built between the competitors.

“We know everyone,” he said. “There are three or four or so different families that show, and we know them pretty well.”

Breana Bunch, Leslie, was the reserve grand champion. She competed for the New Haven 4-H Club.

Other New Haven 4-H members in the market competition were Brook Vedder, Blake Vedder, Michael Vedder, Maria Vedder and Brady Vedder. Isabelle Scheer competed for Boone County 4-H and Madeline Eckstein competed for Jeffriesburg 4-H.

Michelle Eilenstein judged the competition. She is a University of Missouri-Columbia graduate and has been competing and judging dairy shows since she was 12.

“We just look for the physical attributes for good dairy cows,” Eilenstein explained on what a diary show judge looks for in a winning dairy cow.

She said she loved the red coat on Ley’s cow, and would have liked to see more strength in Bunch’s cow. That was the difference between the two.

Maria Vedder took home the junior showmanship award.

Any cow awarded a blue ribbon, or a grand champion award, at the show had a bucket of items made from its dairy sold at the Fair auction. The bucket included a gift certificate to Schnucks.

MFA Cooperative Association No. 2, Washington, New Haven and Marthasville, and Vedder Farms purchased the top dairy products for $2,400 from Ley.

Selling the dairy products at the auction is often used for the exhibitor’s ongoing education and as a source of extra money.