The Illinois 4-H team claimed fifth at the 2019 National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest. Nineteen teams competed at the annual contest held during the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis.
The team took fifth in the live placing division and seventh in oral reasons. In breed division judging, Illinois finished third in Guernsey, fourth in Holstein, seventh in Jersey, and eighth in Brown Swiss.
Members of the Illinois team are Payton Erbsen, Lanark; Lane Heinzmann, Carlyle; Briley Lenkaitis, Eldorado; and Zachary Paul, Worden.
Briley and Payton earned All-American status in the contest. Briley placed 15th overall, earning 12th in oral reasons, 12th in Guernsey, and 14th in Brown Swiss breed contests. Payton finished in 21st, placing 11th in the Holstein breed. Zachary finished 4th in Guernsey and 15th in the live placing division.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation and River Valley Dairy of Tremont provide financial support for the team. The Equity of Effingham provides each team member a commemorative jacket. University of Illinois Extension 4-H dairy program coordinator Dave Fischer coaches the team.
“It was a great day for the Illinois 4-H dairy program,” Fischer said. “I am privileged to coach this truly awesome group of young people. They made Illinois 4-H proud.”