Dairy Cattle Evaluation

Contest Chairs: Tim Heeg and Matt Lippert

This event is held in an unheated facility. Students are advised to dress warmly.

This is a qualifying contest for the State contest. Teams scoring in the top 30 percent will be eligible to enter the State FFA Career Development event. (The percentages qualified at area contests are based on the percentage of full three- or four-person teams indicating that they are attempting to qualify at an area contest.) Practice teams will not be accepted. 

Materials Needed 

  • A clipboard and paper free from notes or other markings 
  • Several sharpened no. 2 pencils (no pens)

Event Format

A. Dairy Management / DHI Record Analysis Exam (50 points)

  1. The exam will consist of a 25-question written exam involving dairy management practices and DHI records. Ten questions will focus on interpretation of DHI records that may include individual cow production records, somatic cell count summaries, and herd management summaries. Fifteen questions will be concerned with various dairy management and industry-related topics. Each question will be worth two points for a total of 50 points. All questions will utilize a multiple choice or true/false format. 
  2. DHI records will be provided to answer the questions utilized within the exam.

B. Evaluation and selection (200 points)

  1. Four classes of four dairy cattle each will be placed on type, with all or most being milking cow classes. One class may be a class of heifers. Holstein and Jersey cattle will be used for evaluation classes. 
  2. Each class is allowed 50 points for a correct placing. 
  3. Participant will have at least 12 minutes to place each class. Fifteen minutes will be allowed for the class upon which oral reasons or TAQs will be based. 

C. Type analysis questions (50 points)

  1. One of the placings classes of four animals will be used for this exercise. Five to ten questions will require the contestants to select the animal in the class that has the most desirable or least desirable feature (e.g., strongest fore udder attachment, sharpest at the withers). 
  2. Each question will have only one correct answer. Each question will be worth five points for a total of 25–50 points. 
  3. Fifteen (15) minutes will be allowed for the class in which the TAQ questions fall. 

D. Oral reasons (50 points) 

  1. Oral reasons will be required on one class of lactating cows. The class will be designated by the event superintendent prior to the actual judging of the class. 
  2. Oral reasons will be given following the judging classes in a rotation with the test. 
  3. A maximum score of 50 points will be given to a perfect set of reasons. Participants are encouraged to refrain from utilizing notes during the delivery of reasons. If notes are used, a maximum score of 40 points will be given to a perfect set of reasons. 
  4. Participants will have at least 15 minutes to prepare for oral reasons.