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Agriculture and Food

Dairy Judging Team Earns Top Honors at Southwestern Livestock Exposition

Cal Poly’s dairy judging team earned the highest team ranking Jan. 14 at the Fort Worth Stock Show Dairy Judging contest in Texas.

Fourteen teams representing many of the top college dairy programs in the nation competed, with Cal Poly placing as the High Team Overall. Cal Poly also placed first in reasons, first in the Jersey breed, second in Brown Swiss, and third in Holsteins.

Individual team members also placed highly, including sophomore Brandon Almeida, who received the High Individual Overall. Almeida placed first in Jerseys and was fifth in oral reasons. Senior Caitlin Lopes placed third in oral reasons, and teammate Hannah Neer placed fourth.

The top three overall winning teams were Cal Poly, Iowa State and Ohio State.

Working on four-person teams, the students judged 10 classes of dairy cattle. Each contestant then gave an oral presentation (called reasons) defending their placings for four of those classes. 

Cal Poly’s dairy cattle judging teams are coached by dairy science Lecturer Rich Silacci and assisted by Professor Stan Henderson.

“Our students work incredibly hard to prepare for these judging competitions,” Silacci said. “It’s great to see their time and dedication pay off in Texas.”