FFA and 4H youth compete in Dairy Cattle Show at state fair

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 8:36 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Although there’s a full-fledged state fair going on with carnival rides and deep-fried food, agriculture is still being highlighted.

4H and FFA youth got together on Saturday to participate in the Open Class Dairy Cattle Show at the Five Points Bank Arena, but the unique part about it was the youth were the ones doing the judging.

“While typically people are used to seeing cows get displayed and professional judges, these kids are really practicing and honing those skills of how you judge dairy animals,” said Melissa Konecky, Superintendent of the Open Class Dairy Cattle Show.

There were about 90 youth at the competition and each of them needed to determine which were the best cows.

“This morning when we went over to the college here in Grand Island, we took a quiz and then we also had to give an interview basically like a presentation and now I’m feeling pretty good about the judging part of it,” said FFA Youth Chase Racicky.

17-year-old Chase Racicky and 15-year-old Carter Behnken aren’t newbies when it comes to judging cattle.

“I’ve been doing it for many years,” Racicki said.

“Same with me I’ve been doing it for awhile with my brother,” Behnken said.

Both of the boys families own dairy farms, so they’re pretty well-versed on what makes a good cow.

“You basically just know what cows are good and what cows aren’t,” Racicky said. “You basically learn as you go.”

The boys were looking to see if the cow had a good set of legs and most importantly a good utter.

“It’s usually based on the utter and if it’s bad, that’s bad,” Behnken said.

Then, they had convince the judges, in the reasons portion, on why the cows they scored the highest were the best.

“What were the reasons this animal was the best and this is why. This animal was second and this is why,” Konecky said.

The top youth in each age division who defended their choices with confidence the best, won the competition.

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