Laclede County youth tops State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

  • Published: Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021

SEDALIA, Mo. – Whitney Yerina of Laclede County topped the State 4-H Dairy Judging Contest, held Aug. 21 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. 

“Yerina had an incredible week in the show ring as well, taking home both 4-H/FFA and Open Supreme Champion Dairy Female,” said Karla Deaver, University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist and a coach of the Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team.

Whitney, daughter of Katie Dixon of Phillipsburg and Brett Yerina, was the top individual in Guernseys, third in Jerseys and third in oral reasons. “Whitney has made major improvements in both her judging and oral reasons over the past couple of years,” Deaver said.

Second high individual was Logan Archer of Falcon. Logan, son of Robert and Jamey Archer, was the top individual in Holsteins, second in Jerseys and second in oral reasons.

Third high individual was Lila Wantland, daughter of Jeff and Leeann Wantland. Lila, of Niangua, was top individual in Ayrshires, Jerseys and oral reasons and second in Holsteins.

Rounding out the top five were Molly Archer in fourth and Libby Shaver in fifth. Molly, daughter of Robert and Jamey Archer of Falcon, was third in Guernseys. Libby, daughter of Shane and Denise Shaver of Grovespring, was second in Ayrshires and third in Holsteins.

Topping the intermediate division was Sophia Geppert of Kingdom City, who placed third in Ayrshires. Second high intermediate was Sammi Justice of Clever. In third was Tyson Droste of Lancaster. Fourth high intermediate was Colton Nisbett of Lebanon, who was the top individual in Brown Swiss. Rounding out the top five was Raylee Couch of Verona.

In the junior division, the top individual was Harper VanZyverden of Marshfield. Second high junior was Emma Coleman of Grant City. Third high in the junior division was David Melzer of Harrisonville. Rounding out the top five were Ellery Couch of Verona and Diesel Dixon of Conway.

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. The Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team receives support from FCS Financial, the Missouri Holstein Association and the Missouri 4-H Foundation.

Plans are in place for a Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging Team to compete at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky, in November.

“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 Ted Probert of MU Extension in Wright County at 417-349-4134 or Karla Deaver of MU Extension in Lawrence County at 417-466-3102.

Major support for Missouri 4-H Agriculture and Natural Resources programs is provided by the Missouri 4-H Foundation in partnership with Bass Pro Shops, Corteva Agriscience, Crader Distributing Co., FCS Financial, Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Holstein Association, Eunice Campbell and Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog, D.V.M.

As America’s largest youth development organization, 4-H offers youths, families, and adult volunteers of all ages many ways to engage, grow and serve through clubs, camps, contests, conferences, special interest groups, in-school and after-school programs, and more. It’s about young people from both rural and urban areas making new friends and memories while preparing to be future leaders. For more information, visit

Photos available:
Top senior division judges. Front row, from left, Molly Archer, Lila Wantland, Logan Archer, Whitney Yerina. Second row, from left, Libby Shaver, Payton Nix, Adeline Dickerson, Ella Fischer, Emma Parrigon, Maria Vedder. Third row, from left, Addison Tharp, Case Melzer, Payton Rodgers, Reed Phillippe, Eliah Nisbett.
Top intermediate judges. From left, Sophia Geppert, Sammi Justice, Tyson Droste, Colton Nisbett, Raylee Couch, Teagan Hardy, Charley Dickerson.
Top junior judges. From left, Harper VanZyverden, Emma Coleman, David Melzer, Ellery Couch, Jami Diehl. Not pictured: Diesel Dixon.

Writer: Karla Deaver

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Karla Deaver

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