Where do you find a champion dairy cow? Out standing in her field.
But a top dairy judge can be found at Francis Scott Key High School.
Senior Tiffany Green, recently traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, with the Maryland State Dairy Judging Team at the World Dairy Expo.
The team placed third and will be traveling to Europe next summer to face off against teams from around the world.
The Times caught up with Green to learn how she got started in dairy judging and how she stays confident in the ring.
Q: Was there a time you realized that dairy judging was something you’re really passionate about?
A: I started in 4-H showing pigs, and after a year, I knew I wanted to do more. I was lucky to have Pheasant Echo Farm right down the road from my house. I started leasing my dairy cows from there, and the other girls I was showing with were already involved in dairy judging.
One night, they invited me to a judging practice and that really got me interested. I continued to go and judge at the county and state fairs that year. However, I was new and didn’t do too well in the competitions. This was upsetting at first, but it gave me the drive to push and work that much harder the next year. So, that’s what I did, and it paid off.
Last year, at the Maryland State Fair, I placed third in the competition, and this year I took first place. This allowed me to try out for the Maryland State Dairy Judging Team.
I made the A team and got the opportunity to go to Madison, Wisconsin to compete in the judging competition at the World Dairy Expo. I went with three other team members from Maryland. As a team, we placed third in the nation.
The top three teams at that competition get to go on a two-week trip to Europe in June where we will be judging at the Royal Highlands Show in Scotland as well as a contest in Ireland. We will also be touring farms and sight-seeing in Ireland and Scotland.
Q: When you’re going into a competition are there any things you do to make sure you’re prepared?
A: Before I go into the ring to judge, I always close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. I am the kind of person that gets extremely nervous and doubts myself, so when I’m judging I always tell myself that I am the judge today and that’s all that matters. It is up to me how the animals get placed. If you go into it thinking that you are either going to be right or wrong, you will over-think every placing.
Q: Are you involved in the FFA/other organizations at your school?
A: This is my fourth year in the FFA chapter at my school. Last year I was the president, but I have a tough class schedule this year, so I decided not to take on an officer position and am now just an active member.
Q: Would you recommend that other people your age get involved in dairy judging?
A: I would recommend judging to anyone who has a passion for animals. You don’t have to live on a farm or even show cows. At first it will be hard, but it is a skill that you will develop over time.
It teaches you things like quick thinking and public speaking and is a great skill to have. It can open up other doors as well. There are scholarships available in judging and agriculture. You also get opportunities like I now have to go on fun trips.