Two members of Rice County 4-H’s star dairy judging team scored high marks during an international competition in Scotland in June.
Emily Pieper and David Trcka took second place at the Royal Highland Show, an international agriculture and livestock fair near Edinburgh. After the competition, the team spent two weeks visiting Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales.
“It was a great honor, we’ve done so much together over the years,” Trcka said of the win.
Trcka and Pieper’s Rice County 4-H teammates, Mary Liebenstein and Dennison Nelson, also competed at the Royal Highland Show. Unlike American dairy judging competitions, only teams of two were allowed to compete, rather than four.
Trcka and Pieper competed against 12 other American teams.
Maizie Scheffler, one of the teams coaches, said the competition organization did not release the rankings of any of the other teams.
Dairy judging has two main parts: placement and oral reasoning. Placement involves ranking the cattle being judged, and oral reasoning is the justification behind the placement.
Trcka said the judging at the Royal Highland Show was “essentially the same concept,” but that the whole event went faster than other competitions he has participated in.
“We judged four classes and had one set of reasoning,” Trcka said. “But we had less time than usual to do it.”
Having won first place at the Minnesota State Fair, followed by second place at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., — where each of the four teammates individually placed in the top 25 best dairy judges — the team made its way to the Scottish highlands riding a slew of accolades.
“We’ve slowly progressed over the years,” Trcka said. “We’ve been doing this since we were little kids. It really felt like the hard work paid off.”
Trcka will be going to South Dakota State University for agriculture business this fall. Pieper will be a senior at Tri-City United High School.
Reach reporter Cristeta Boarini at 333-3135. Follow her on Twitter.com @FDNCristeta