The Dairy Judging Team from Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences took home the top prize at the 88th Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 30.

The students also won second place for the team oral reasons competition. Winning team members included

  • Katie Albaugh, senior dairy science major from Walkersville, Md.;
  • Katie Pike, junior dairy science major from Cornish, Maine;
  • Malorie Rhoderick, senior dairy science major from Mt. Airy, Md.; and
  • Brittany Thompson, sophomore dairy science major from Snow Camp, N.C.

Michael Barnes and Katharine Knowlton, both faculty members in the Department of Dairy Science, coached the team, which also placed first among 17 teams at the All-American Dairy Judging Contest in Harrisburg, Pa., on Sept. 15 and second and third overall at the Big E Dairy Judging Contest in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 13.

“We couldn’t be more proud of these young women,” Barnes said. “Their multiple accomplishments directly reflect their extreme dedication and perseverance. It’s highly unusual for a team to repeat such an outstanding performance in two different contests back-to-back.”

This year’s World Dairy Expo competition attracted 22 teams from colleges and universities around the country. Two of the Virginia Tech team members – Albaugh and Thompson – ranked in the top 10 overall for individual scores at the competition. Albaugh ranked second overall and tenth in oral reasons, and Thompson ranked fourth overall and second in oral reasons. In addition, Rhoderick placed fourth on oral reasons.

Rounding out the top five finishers were The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Illinois, and Delaware Valley College, respectively.

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