Five exhibitors took home top honors from the Washington Town & Country Fair Dairy Show Friday, Aug. 3, with two junior exhibitors showing the dairy grand and reserve champion.
Showing the grand champion of the competition, a Holstein, was Blake Vedder, New Haven.
The reserve champion of the tournament, another Holstein, was shown by Blake’s cousin Maria Vedder, also of New Haven. Both are members of the New Haven 4-H Club.
Judging the event was Sam Masri, a University of Dallas student and Monette native. He performed at the national level in dairy judging for Monett High School FFA, where he earned top marks in several competitions. This show was his first as an official.
Masri said the decision between the two Vedder’s Holsteins was a difficult one to make. He noted they both had good composition and dairy character.
In the end, he said he chose Blake Vedder’s Holstein because of its larger size and build.
Several other exhibitors received top honors at the show, including the two recipients of the senior showmanship market dairy and dairy show awards.
Mathilda Eckstein, Union, received the dairy show’s senior showmanship award. Masri said she had composure and grace when dealing with her animals.
She also saw success with her herd of Jersey dairy cows, earning the junior reserve champion honor and both the champion and reserve champion senior awards.
Thomas Ley, New Haven, received the market dairy senior showmanship award. Masri said Ley had similar traits to Eckstein and seemed to have control and mutual respect with his animals.
Eckstein is a member of the Union FFA and attends Union High School. Her parents are Mark and Jennifer Eckstein.
Ley currently studies at Missouri University of Science and Technology. His parents are Susan and Mike Ley.
For the younger exhibitors, there were junior showmanship awards to be had. Earning the market dairy and dairy show junior showmanship awards were Brooke Vedder, New Haven, and Maria Vedder.
Masri said all of the senior showmanship, and the majority of the exhibitors, had a quality show. He said it was clear the area has a rich pool of dairy exhibitions.
“The really good ones handled them (the cows) with ease and confidence,” Masri said. “You could tell they all had a good rapport with their animals.”
The show’s best udder award for the third year in a row was presented to Elizabeth Scheer, New Haven. Scheer received $100 for winning the best udder award as part of the Nelson H. Hall Agricultural Achievement 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.
Selling the dairy at the auction is often used for the exhibitor’s ongoing education and as a source of extra money.
The show was sponsored by the East Central Wholesale Breeders Association.