Harrisonville youth tops State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

  • Published: Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022

SEDALIA, Mo. – Case Melzer earned high individual honors at the State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest in August at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

Melzer, son of Matt and Kelly Melzer of Harrisonville, was high individual in Guernseys. “Case was very consistent across all breeds in the contest,” said Karla Deaver, 4-H youth development specialist and co-coach of the Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team. “Case has worked hard to improve in both his judging and his oral reasons. He attended dairy judging camp this summer for the first time, and we have seen a dramatic improvement in his scores.”

Second high individual was Lila Wantland of Niangua. Wantland, daughter of Jeff and Leeann Wantland, was top individual in Ayrshires and Brown Swiss and second in oral reasons and Holsteins. Third high individual was Payton Nix of Mountain Grove. Nix, daughter of Keeland and Lacy Nix, was high individual in Jerseys, second in Brown Swiss and Guernseys and third in oral reasons.

Rounding out the top five were Whitney Yerina of Phillipsburg and Libby Shaver of Grovespring. Yerina, daughter of Katie Dixon and Brett Yerina, was the top individual in oral reasons. Shaver, daughter of Shane and Denise Shaver, was second in Ayrshires and third in Guernseys.

Topping the intermediate age division was Colton Nisbett of Lebanon. Nisbett, the son of Jordan and Melissa Nisbett, was high individual in Holsteins. Second high intermediate was Teagan Hardy of Steelville. Hardy, daughter of Autumn and Dustin Hardy, was second high individual in Holsteins. Third high intermediate was Charley Dickerson of Unionville. Dickerson is the son of Melody and Josh Dickerson. Rounding out the top five were David Melzer of Harrisonville and Lily Bluel of Monett. Melzer, the son of Matt and Kelly Melzer, was third high individual in Holsteins. Bluel is the daughter of Neal and Reagan Bluel.

In the junior division, the top individual was Harper VanZyverden of Marshfield. VanZyverden is the daughter of Scott and Rachel VanZyverden. Second high junior was Emma Coleman, the daughter of William and Tera Coleman of Grant City. Third high in the junior division was Trenton Nisbett of Lebanon, son of Jordan and Melissa Nisbett. Rounding out the top five were Kimber Wilson, daughter of Scott and Jenna Wilson of Miller, and Calvin Culpepper, son of Leslie and Michael Culpepper of Harrisonville.

Contestants placed six classes and gave two sets of oral reasons. The top three individuals in each breed received cash prizes sponsored by Missouri breed associations and supporters of youth dairy programs. The top 10 individuals in each division received rosettes from the Missouri State Fair, and the top four individuals in each division received a plaque from the Missouri State Fair and supporters of the contest.

Contestants, their families and exhibitors who provided cattle for the event were the guests at a Junior Dairymen’s barbecue sponsored by Midwest Dairy Association, Missouri State Fair, Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, MFA, Dairy Farmers of America and Hiland Dairy. Major support for 4-H agriculture programs is provided by the Missouri 4-H Foundation in partnership with Eunice Campbell, FCS Financial, the Hertzog Family, the Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Holstein Association, and Anita and Wayne Vanderwert.

Wantland, Nix and Yerina will compete at the All-American Dairy Show dairy cattle judging contest in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the National 4-H Dairy Judging contest in Madison, Wisconsin. The team consisting of Logan and Molly Archer, Case Melzer and Libby Shaver will compete this November at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The life skills that youth gain in judging activities – decision-making, problem-solving, public speaking, defending their decisions – are skills that we need to help our kids learn now more than ever,” Deaver said. “Not only are these skills they will use on a daily basis as adults, but in today’s uncertain world they are skills they will use now.”

For more information about the dairy judging program, contact Deaver at the MU Extension Center in Lawrence County at 417-466-3102.

About 4-H

More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H offers youths, families and adult volunteers many ways to engage, grow and serve – through clubs, camps, contests, conferences, special interest groups, in-school and after-school programs, and more. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.


Top senior age division judges, from left: Case Melzer, Lila Wantland, Payton Nix, Whitney Yerina, Libby Shaver, Kylie Scrivner, Logan Archer and Molly Archer.

Top intermediate judges, from left: Colton Nisbett, Teagan Hardy, Charley Dickerson, David Melzer, Lily Bluel and Kelby Schoen.

Top junior judges, from left: Harper VanZyverden, Emma Coleman, Trenton Nisbett, Kimber Wilson, Calvin Culpepper and Abby Schoen.

Writer: Karla Deaver

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Karla Deaver

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