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Dunn County 4-H team qualifies for dairy judging competition in Scotland

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4H to Scotland
Pictured is Dunn County 4-H Dairy Judging Team/U.S. Championship Team, left to right: Fritz Ullom, Abigail Powers, Marie Haase, and Ben Styer

Menomonie (WQOW) - Four area teens are ready to represent their country by picking the best bovines. The local 4-H team qualified to compete in an international dairy judging competition in Scotland this summer.

"Probably a little bit of 'oh my gosh, this is actually happening.' It took a little bit for it to set in," said Ben Styer, Dunn County 4-H dairy judging team member.

In June, Fritz Ullom of Bloomer, Marie Haase of Osceola, and Abigail Powers and Ben Styer of Menomonie will represent the U.S. at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland.

"This is the Super Bowl. This is the Final Four. This is where it all comes to a head," said Jim Powers, Dunn County 4-H dairy judging coach.

The Dunn County 4-H team will be judged on how well they judge cows.

In Europe, the teens will need to determine the profitability of different cattle based on certain traits. Afterward, they need to tell the judges why the bovines they picked were the best.

"The most important one is the udder, her mammary system. Then we also look at feet and legs. Those are heavily weighted. And then dairyness throughout and then femininity," said Styer.

Powers has worked with some of the team members since they were nine years old and says qualifying for an international competition doesn't just happen overnight.

"Out of the 25 years that we've done this, this is only the second time we have actually made it this far, so it is a rarity," said Powers. "I couldn't be more proud."

Powers says 4-H is not just about judging cattle.

"A lot of these kids do stay in the industry so they're skills that they will keep with them throughout their entire life, especially the speaking skills," said Powers.

It's about empowering youth to make the best, better.

"We have learned public speaking. We've learned how to walk into a room with confidence and know that we have a chance to win this thing so that we can't hold anything back," said Styer.

To help fund the trip overseas, the team is hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on February 29 at Dean and Sue's Bar and Grill in Menomonie. The social and silent auction will begin at 4 p.m., and dinner is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For those who can't make it to the event, people interested in donating can write a check to Dunn County 4-H Dairy Project, which can be mailed to Jim Powers at E5955 County Road J, Menomonie, WI 54751.

The competition in Scotland begins June 18.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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