Md. dairy cattle judging team earns trip to Scotland
From left, Jeff Semler, Jessica Sentelle, Kaitlyn Corbett, Hannah Hood, Jason Zimmerman and Kiera Finucane. (Submitted photo)
The team brought Maryland its 30th national victory.
With that honor comes an opportunity to represent Maryland at an international judging contest, provided the team was willing to put in the time and effort to raise $30,000 to make the trip.
“Fundraising is a lot of work, but earning this trip makes it well worth the effort. I learned how to really work as a team and to interact with a lot of different people. It has been a great experience,” said Kaitlyn Corbett of Washington County.
The team consists of Corbett; Hannah Hood, Frederick County; Jessica Sentelle, Frederick County; and Jason Zimmerman, Montgomery County.
The program is coordinated by Kiera Finucane, animal and avian sciences, and this year’s team was coached by Jeff Semler, Extension educator in Washington County with the University of Maryland Extension.
The team will travel through Scotland, England, France, Luxembourg and Germany over the 14-day trip.
The team will have the opportunity to judge cattle in multiple countries, including the Royal Highland Show in Scotland and at the Luxembourg National Show, see a play in London and take a cruise down the Rhine River.
The team has even been invited to lead cattle in an international cattle sale hosted by the Luxembourg Herd Book Association.
“I’m most looking forward to visiting Luxembourg because I will get to live with a host family and help with the sale,” Zimmerman said.
“I will have an opportunity to see how chores are done on the host family’s farm and see many cows at the sale.”
These sentiments are echoed by teammate Sentelle, “I’m most excited to stay with the host families because it will be a completely different experience and it will allow us to see the different customs of the families.”
Many county residents have supported the fundraising efforts put forth by the team over the past eight months.
The program’s long-term success and viability is possible only through the time, effort and financial support of the entire dairy industry in Maryland.
“I’d like to thank all of our supporters so much. We have been working most of our 4-H careers to get to this point and we never could have made it without your help. Once again, thank you for all that you’ve done for us,” Hood said.
While the team and 4-H program cannot send each supporter a personal thank-you card, they would like to invite their supporters along on their international adventure with them, if only online. For daily updates on their blog, go to http://marylanddairyjudging2008.blogspot.com.
For more information about the 4-H dairy program in Maryland, contact Finucane at 301-405-1392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.