Teams will compete in Europe next summer.

  • The Missouri 4-H dairy judging team. From left, Karla Deaver (co-coach), Molly Archer, Libby Shaver, Case Melzer, Logan Archer and Ted Probert (co-coach).
    The Missouri 4-H dairy judging team. From left, Karla Deaver (co-coach), Molly Archer, Libby Shaver, Case Melzer, Logan Archer and Ted Probert (co-coach).

The Missouri 4-H dairy judging team finished second overall at the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest, held in October at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

Competing in a field of 20, the team had its best finish in more than 100 years and qualified for international competition, said University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist Karla Deaver, who coaches the team with retired MU Extension dairy specialist Ted Probert.

“This was an incredibly high-scoring contest, and our team won two breeds and oral reasons, were second in another breed, third in placings and fourth in the two remaining breeds,” said Deaver. “Three of the four team members were in the top 10 individuals, and all four earned All-American honors. The only Missouri team to finish higher was the 1920 team that was first overall. Winning oral reasons was really the icing on the cake for us. To finish so well in this tight, high-scoring contest is truly remarkable.”

The team of Logan Archer, Molly Archer, Case Melzer and Libby Shaver finished as the high team in Ayrshires and Brown Swiss, second in Guernseys, fourth in Holsteins and Jerseys, third in placings and high team in oral reasons.

Melzer, son of Matt and Kelly Melzer of Harrisonville, was the fourth high individual overall. He was sixth in placings, second in Ayrshires, 10th in Guernseys, second in Holsteins and fourth in oral reasons.

Molly Archer, daughter of Robert and Jamey Archer of Falcon, was the sixth high individual. She was 11th in placings, fifth in oral reasons, 12th in Ayrshires, fourth in Brown Swiss, second in Guernseys and fourth in Jerseys.

Shaver, daughter of Shane and Denise Shaver of Grovespring, was 10th high individual. Shaver was fifth in Brown Swiss, 11th in Jerseys, 14th in placings and 11th in oral reasons.

Logan Archer, son of Robert and Jamey Archer of Falcon, finished 23rd overall. He was 12th in Brown Swiss and 20th in placings.

“We don’t believe there has ever been a team where all four team members have attained All-American honors,” said Deaver. “We are really proud of how hard this team worked, and their efforts paid off. Earning a trip to Europe is really quite special. Having the opportunity to travel and compete internationally will be one of many reasons this judging team experience will be memorable for our team.”

The team is currently raising money to participate in the international dairy youth tour in the summer of 2024. Tax-deductible contributions may be made at

For more information about the Missouri 4-H dairy judging team, contact Deaver at 417-466-3102.

Major support for 4-H agriculture programs is provided by the Missouri 4-H Foundation in partnership with Ballenger Propane, Corteva Agriscience, FCS Financial, MFA Foundation, Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Soybean Association, National 4-H Council, Safety National, Eunice Campbell and Dr. Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog.