University of Vermont

Vermont 4-H'ers Place in Big E Dairy Events

Burlington--Eastern States Exposition, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, featured several dairy competitions for 4-H'ers from all six New England states during the first few days of its Sept. 14-30 run.

All 4-H dairy exhibitors, including 30 4-H'ers from Vermont, competed in the general knowledge contest. Two Vermonters finished in the top ten in their respective age groups. Caroline Kirby, East Montpelier, took top honors in the Junior Division (12-14) and was awarded the Moon Trophy for highest individual score in that division. Calvin Seward, East Wallingford, placed fourth in the Senior Division (15 and older).

Both Caroline and Calvin also competed on the state's quiz bowl team, which finished second out of six teams. Questions covered feeds and feeding, herd health, breeding and genetics, milk quality and dairy foods, among other topics.

Caroline was high overall scorer and Calvin was ninth. Other team members were Dana Seward, East Wallingford; and Chandra Stanley, Franklin.

Vermont's three-member clipping team, comprised of Adele Biasini, Morrisville; Joseph Real, Georgia; and Seth Carson, Newbury; came in first out of six teams. In this timed competition, judges awarded points for preparation, teamwork, technique, the animal's overall end appearance and the team's ability to explain the steps they took and why they choose to fit their animal as they did.

The grilled cheese competition featured two separate contests. For the traditional grilled cheese category, teams prepared their entry using only use bread, butter and their choice of cheese. Entries in the specialty sandwich category were required to include the same three ingredients with no restriction on additional ingredients, provided that the end product contained at least 60 percent cheese.

Although teams could enter both contests, the Vermont team chose to compete just in the latter category, placing second overall. Team members were Katherine Howard, East Thetford; Mairen Poirier, Wells River; and Ron Senecal, Bradford.

For both contests, each team had to prepare three sandwiches for judging with entries evaluated on taste, creativity and presentation. The judges also awarded points for proper food handling and food safety as well as how well the 4-H'ers worked as a team, including their ability to answer questions during preparation and tasting.

For more information about the University of Vermont Extension 4-H dairy program, contact Wendy Sorrell at (800) 571-0668 or