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Illinois 4-H Team takes 8th in national dairy contest

Monday, November 1, 2021
Youth in dress clothes hold ribbons

Madison, Wis.-- The Illinois 4-H Senior Division DairyTeam of Delana Erbsen of Carroll County, Nevin Erbsen of Carroll County, and Jacob Raber of Livingston County proudly represented Illinois 4-H at the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest placing 8th in the overall national rankings.  The event was held September 27th as part of the World Dairy Expo event.

Youth compete at the state level by demonstrating their knowledge of the dairy industry by ranking classes of dairy cattle before advancing to national competition.

“This is a great national competition opportunity for youth,” says Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist. “This is a great time to network with 4-H youth from across the country and an important opportunity to build youth self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Illinois 4-H also paced 5th in overall placings scores, 2nd overall in Holsteins, 6th in Ayrshires, 7th in Guernseys, and 6th in Jerseys.

Besides the team rankings, members also had ranked with individual accomplishments. Delana Erbsen of Carroll County took home All-American honors, placing as the 10th highest individual with a 7th place rank in Ayrshires and 4th place rank in Holsteins. Nevin Erbsen of Carroll County was the 9th highest individual for the Holstein breed.

All three team members also placed in the top 25 for individual placings scores with Delana Erbsen of Carroll County placing 9th, Nevin Erbsen of Carroll County placing 17th, and Jacob Raber of Livingston County placing 24th.

While the competition measures knowledge, youth develop other skills as well.

“These events really drive positive youth development,” says Jennings. “They gain social skills through interacting with their peers while learning the value of hard work that helps drive self-esteem.”

The team was coached by Derek Nolan, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Dairy Program Coordinator, and Wendy Erbsen. The Illinois 4-H Foundation provides support for this program.