MSU Dairy Youth

Dairy Management Contest

The dairy management contest is a practical, hands-on competition that tests contestants' dairy knowledge. Youth rotate through a series of stations representing a variety of dairy management-related topics. At each station, contestants may be asked to perform tasks, identify common tools, feeds and other things used on dairy farms, write an answer on a card or deliver an answer orally to a judge. They are asked to demonstrate specific skills, such as determining the dry matter of feedstuffs or identifying sick or lame animals. Senior youth work in teams to solve common dairy herd management problems, which are presented in a case study format.

The Senior Division
The senior contest will consist of 6 stations. At these stations participants will be expected to demonstrate a wide depth and breadth of knowledge. All stations will be worth 20 points. The first station will require an individual to assess a problem and prepare oral answers to questions and answer questions from the judge. The judge will then score the presentation and answers to questions. The remaining portion of the contest will include one station that will require the participant to demonstrate some skill to an evaluator and four stations that will require the youth to evaluate a situation and then write an answer on an answer sheet. Topics for the six stations in the senior contest will be selected from the following list:

  1. Reading and analyzing DHIA records
  2. Identifying feeds & testing their quality
  3. Body condition scoring
  4. Identifying & proper interventions for mastitis
  5. Proper milking procedure
  6. Caring for a newborn calf
  7. Proper procedure for AI
  8. Sire selection using cattle evaluation skills
  9. Properly administering medications to cattle
  10. Culling Decisions
  11. Dairy Product Evaluation
  12. Reproductive Anatomy
  13. Evaluating Cattle Confirmation
  14. Hoof care

The Junior Division

The junior contest consists of 10 stations, each worth 10 points. The first station will
require participants to demonstrate a skill to an evaluator. The next nine stations will require the participant to write an answer on an answer sheet. Once a team enters the contest area, they will have 30 minutes to complete all 10 stations. The 10 stations will be selected from the following list:

  1. Identifying the parts of the cow
  2. Identifying breeds of dairy cattle
  3. Identifying feed ingredients
  4. Detecting heat in cattle and identifying A.I. equipment
  5. Administrating medication to cattle
  6. Caring for a newborn calf
  7. Reading pedigree records
  8. Interpreting DHIA records
  9. Reciting the 4-H pledge
  10. Placing a halter on a cow and tying a slip knot
  11. Causes and detection of mastitis
  12. Body condition scoring
  13. Culling decisions
  14. Identifying dairy products
  15. Evaluating dairy cattle conformation

The Novice Division

The novice division is designed for youth who are 9, 10 and 11 years old and just beginning to compete. Stations will cover less complicated material than in the junior and senior divisions and not focus on any one specific area of dairy production. The objective is to encourage continued involvement. There will be 6 to 8 stations in the novice division; there will be no demonstration.


Study Materials

Practice Questions, 2009 (Tarleton University)
Sample Questions
(2011 Junior Dairy Management Contest, public wiki)