Missouri 4-H dairy judging team competes at All-American

  • Published: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Missouri 4-H had a strong outing at the 2023 All-American Invitational Youth Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, Sept. 17 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The team finished seventh overall in the 13-team field, said Karla Deaver, University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist.

The team of Molly Archer, Case Melzer and Libby Shaver finished second overall in oral reasons, fourth in Jerseys and fifth in Guernseys. “This was a super-high-scoring contest,” Deaver said. “Our team averaged 46 points on placings and reasons combined. We are looking forward to competing in our national contest in early October.”

Leading the way for the Missouri team was Libby Shaver, daughter of Shane and Denise Shaver of Grovespring. Shaver had a very consistent contest, finishing as sixth high individual overall, Deaver said. She was high individual in Jerseys, second high individual in oral reasons and fifth in Holsteins.

Case Melzer, son of Matt and Kelly Melzer of Harrisonville, was sixth high individual in oral reasons and finished as 14th high individual overall. Melzer talked a 50 on Holstein reasons. Molly Archer, daughter of Robert and Jamey Archer of Falcon, finished 34th.

Missouri 4-H Dairy Judging team alumnus Whitney Yerina was high individual overall in the junior college division of the contest. Yerina, now judging for the State University of New York at Cobleskill, was also high individual in oral reasons, Brown Swiss and Guernseys. In addition, she was third in Jerseys and Ayrshires and fourth in Holsteins. Yerina also won the Big E dairy judging contest just the day before the All-American. “We couldn’t be more proud of Whitney and all she has accomplished at the collegiate level,” said Deaver. “Whitney is having an incredible fall judging season, winning two contests in two days. We are excited for her and her team moving into the national contest in Madison.”

Contestants placed 10 classes and gave four sets of reasons. The team is coached by Deaver and retired MU Extension dairy specialist Ted Probert.

 Major support for 4-H Agriculture 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” Herzog, DVM. For more information about the Missouri 4-H dairy judging team, contact Karla Deaver at 417-466-3102.


Pictured, from left, Missouri 4-H dairy judging team members Molly Archer, Case Melzer and Libby Shaver showing their awards from the All-American Dairy Show Invitational Youth Dairy Cattle Judging Contest in Harrisburg, Pa.

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