The Melplash Agricultural Society’s Dairy Stock Judging competition took place on Wednesday 18 July at Wooth Farm, near Bridport, by kind permission of Frank and Nicky Greenway.
The judge this year was Mr Terry Cox of Shaftesbury and the competition was open to Young Farmers’ Clubs with classes for all ages.
This year, 16 teams took part with prizegiving taking place in the dark at 10pm.
Dairy Stock Judging is an important event and skill for Young Farmers. Its purpose is to train them to look for and assess the type of traits that are beneficial for long-lasting, healthy cows that will also produce plenty of milk.
For every breed of cow, there is a “True Type Model” which is the ideal cow. The competitor must keep this in mind as they assess each animal. They will be looking for functional traits such as good legs and feet leading to good locomotion, a well-attached udder with enough width and height to hold the high milk yields expected from a modern cow, with body capacity sufficient to support the milk and a growing calf.
Working in teams of two, the Young Farmers are tasked to assess the dairy cows and place them in order [best to poorest] giving the reasons for their decision. They then present their findings to the judge who marks them using a complex marking system based on accuracy of observation and comparisons.
The prizes were presented by Society President Richard King.
Isobel Minshall & Joanna House, Marshwood Vale YFC
1st and winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society Junior Shield- Isobel Minshall & Joanna House, Marshwood Vale YFC
2nd – William Bristol & Bertie George, Wincanton YFC
3rd – Anna Hodges & Poppy Miller, Wincanton YFC
Aaron Turner & Louise Dowding – Marshwood Vale YFC.
1st and winners of the Melplash Agricultural Society shield – Aaron Turner & Louise Dowding – Marshwood Vale YFC.
2nd – Amy Wonnacott & Lindsay Gubbins, Marshwood Vale YFC
3rd – Jasper & Henrietta Love, Sherborne YFC
Hilary Hansford & Hannah Martin, Puddletown YFC
1st and winners of the Francis W Hunt Perpetual Challenge Cup – Hilary Hansford & Hannah Martin, Puddletown YFC
2nd: Lucy & James Wallbridge, Beaminster YFC
3rd – Henry Cox & Toby Wonnacott, Puddletown YFC
Best Newcomer: Emily Power, Wedmore YFC
Highest Placed Individual: Isobel Minshall, Marshwood Vale YFC