Jessie Nash First MSU Student in 6 Decades to win Collegiate Dairy Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo – Cowsmo

Jessie Nash First MSU Student in 6 Decades to win Collegiate Dairy Judging Contest at World Dairy Expo

It last happened in 1962. But then Jessie Nash of Elsie won the 2022 National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest in Madison, Wisconsin, the first Michigan State University (MSU) student to win the award in six decades.

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Jessie Nash of Elsie (center) won the 2022 National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest in Madison, Wisconsin, the first Michigan State University (MSU) student to win the award in six decades. She’s pictured here with MSU instructor Joe Domecq and Michigan Farm Bureau’s Sarah Black. | Courtesy photo

She’ll tell you judging’s in her blood; that her great-grandfather also competed in dairy judging contests.

She’ll also tell you she almost fell over on Oct. 2; that the surprise-win announcement almost knocked her down.

“The judges won’t give you direct feedback, so that’s why it’s a mystery until you get there at the banquet and they start announcing things,” said Nash, a senior studying agribusiness management at MSU. “We were talking with our teammates, and I was like, ‘You know what, I’ll just be happy if I get one ribbon; I will be happy and ecstatic if I just get one.’”

Try, instead, the contest’s high-individual score (840).

“The medals and the awards don’t matter, though,” said Nash, who grew up on a 370-head dairy farm in Elsie. Her parents, Kevin and Pam Nash, are Clinton County Farm Bureau members.

“It’s about how I’ve grown as a person because it’s taught me to have a cool head through everything. No matter how frustrated we get, it all works out in the end.”

Roughly 15 teams and 50 individuals competed in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo. Contestants evaluated 12 classes of cattle during the event and presented six sets of oral reasons defending their decisions of why they placed cattle in certain spots. Top-25 placers received All-American nods.

Nash started evaluating cattle as a young 4-Her in Clinton County. She started practicing for this year’s contest back in August. She didn’t have a Saturday off for months.

“You’re essentially trying to polish and develop those communication and reasoning skills,” Nash told Michigan Farm News. “For those trying to employ kids, it’s a good way to show them we can do sales. I’ve been really blessed with the people that I’ve been able to interact with and meet, and I’m a big believer in faith. I think the good Lord is looking out for me in ways that I can’t quantify.”

Nash also recently won the high-individual score for dairy judging at The All-American Dairy Show in Pennsylvania. She now chases the triple crown of dairy-judging awards — the final leg, North American International Livestock Expo, takes place Oct. 31.

According to Joe Domecq, academic specialist and Nash’s MSU instructor, dairy judging is not just about evaluating cows but about “personal growth and developing important personal skills that students will use for their entire lives.”

“We are all so proud of what Jessie has accomplished,” he wrote in an email to Michigan Farm News.

“Our dairy judging program is like a family, so when a team or an individual does well, we all take pride in those accomplishments. Jessie’s accomplishment is very special for a number of reasons. Yes, our judging program is being recognized, but more important is how Jessie has personally grown and transformed over the last few years because of dairy judging. This is why our judging program is an important part of many students’ lives.”

Nash is a special young woman, added Domecq, one who possesses leadership that other students follow.

“She is passionate about agriculture and has been involved in a great many things over the last six years,” he said.

“She has great communication skills, and she genuinely cares about people. I think winning these last two judging contests … will only help her confidence and belief in herself. She has a very bright future and is already talking about how she can give back to our judging program.”

 

Source: Michigan Farmer News

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