September 7, 2000 | By: Aimee D. Heald

Four Kentucky 4-Hers make up the 2000 dairy judging team that will represent the Commonwealth in two nationwide competitions this fall.

Eleven youth won top scores at the June state dairy judging contest at the University of Kentucky. These 11 worked out together in July and then judged at the Kentucky State Fair in August.

The Kentucky team will travel to Harrisburg, Penn. on Sept. 25 to judge at the All American Dairy Show. Soon after, the team will judge at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest, which is held in conjunction with the World Dairy Expo on Oct. 3 in Madison, Wis. At the national competition, the Kentucky team will compete against 35 other states.

"Most of these youth have been judging since they were 9-years-old," said George Heersche, coach for the team and dairy specialist at the UK College of Agriculture. "Most of them participate in the state contest every year and attend Dairy Cow Camp in April."

The four team members include: Dustin Adkins, Lincoln County; Brooke Core, Mercer County; Emily Branstetter, Metcalfe County and Jeremy Kinslow, Barren County.

Heersche has been coaching the team for many years and has seen three teams he coached win the national championship. In all, four Kentucky teams have won the top honor and then went on to represent the United States in Scotland for international competition.

"We always want to get the message out that 4-H is about youth development," Heersche said. "These youth gain life skills. They learn to be more observant, how to become logical thinkers, and how to make and defend decisions. It isn't just teaching kids about dairy cows."


George Heersche 859-257-5987