Check Out Our Dairy Youth Program!

Maryland has a rich history of outstanding dairy youth programs! Programs include skillathon, dairy bowl, and judging.  View additional information at the links below or contact Chris Anderson or April Barczewski.

Dairy Youth Opportunities

Dairy Judging

Youth Dairy Judging

Dairy judging events test the youth's knowledge of animal conformation.  Whether you carry a dairy cattle project or not, 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging is a great way to work with other 4-Hers to learn information about dairy cattle while having fun.  The State 4-H contest includes judging and oral reasons.  

During the state contest, 4-H participants judge 10 classes of dairy cattle (normally 5 classes of heifers and 5 classes of cows from at least 5 different breeds.  After judging, participants will give 1-4 sets of oral reasons: 

Juniors - 1 set of reasons
Intermediates - 2 sets of reasons
Seniors - 4 sets of reasons

The state 4-H dairy judging team(s) will be selected based on performance at the state contest.  These teams will travel to the national/regional contests at World Dairy Expo (Madison, WI), All American (Harrisburg, PA), and the North American International Livestock Expo (Louisville, KY).  

Below is additional information including the study resources to prepare for the State Contest. 

Judging Resources:  

UME Dairy Judging Resources

Holstein Foundation Dairy Judging

Virginia Tech Dairy Judging YouTube Videos

Hoard's Dairyman Dairy Judging Corner

Dairy Cattle Judging Placings Card (sample)

UME 4-H Dairy Judging Video Heifers

UME 4-H Dairy Judging Video Cows

​​​​​​​General Judging Information 

Dairy Bowl

Dairy Quiz Bowl

Dairy Quiz Bowl is similar to the game show jeopardy or “It’s Academic” except all of the questions relate to the dairy cattle and dairy goat project areas. Points are given or lost by quickness and accuracy of responses. Quiz Bowl is not meant to be a memorization process, in that youth only study questions and know the answers to those questions, but they are to take the knowledge that they have and figure out the answers to the questions asked.

The purpose is to offer a positive opportunity for youth to enhance and demonstrate their knowledge and skills related to 4-H projects that interest them where attitudes of friendliness, cooperation and fairness prevail. Quiz Bowl should provide an educational experience for both participants and spectators. 4-H Quiz Bowl helps to improve and expand the quality of educational experiences that emphasize learning and it uses technology to maximize teaching and learning with youth. Quiz Bowl can be done when the weather prohibits outdoor activities. The main goal is to have FUN while learning.

Below you will find the State Contest rules and additional information including the study resources. 

Dairy Bowl Resources:  

UME Dairy Quiz Bowl Resources

UME 4-H Animal Science Quiz Bowl Events Resources

General Quiz Bowl Information 

State 4-H Dairy Bowl Contest

Dairy Skillathon

Dairy Skillathon

The primary objective of the Maryland 4-H Dairy Skillathon Contest is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H to demonstrate the breadth of their knowledge and understanding of animal science and management in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. The practical application of the contestants’ knowledge and skills is emphasized. The contest’s coordinators strive to provide an educational experience for participants and spectators as well as an opportunity for the creation of new friendships. 

Skillathon offers age-appropriate quizzes and stations that are designed to test youth knowledge of the dairy industry.  During the contest, youth move from station to station. Some stations may include visual diagrams, equipment, or hands on activities to demonstrate a dairy related concepts. 

Contest Structure:

Quiz Phase: includes questions about the dairy industry as a whole.  Quiz consists of 20 multiple choice or true/false questions for all age groups.

Station Phase: consists of a series of stations where contestants respond to various prompts.  This phase consist of 40 multiple choice or true/false questions for all age groups.  Example topics may include:

  • Dairy breeds identification

  • Dairy equipment identification

  • Nutrition (including feed identification, reading a feed tag and reading a ration summary)

  • Genetics and sire selection (including genetic terms, proofs, and pedigrees)

  • Animal health (including disease identification and understanding medication labels)

  • Dairy products (including identification)

  • Animal anatomy and physiology

Below you will find additional information including the study resources to prepare for the State Contest. 

Dairy Skillathon Resources:  

UME Dairy Skillathon Resources

UME 4-H Animal Science Skillathon Events Resources

General Skillathon Information 

State 4-H Dairy Skillathon Contest Rules

Dairy Project Resources

Dairy Projects

Below is an abbreviated list of animal project resources related to dairy.  For project information related to other animal species, see the Animal Science Program Guide Book.

General Resources

Animal Ownership Resources

Animal Leasing Program Resources

Animal Identification Resources

Animal Care and Management Resources

State Fair Resources

Record Book Resources