Dairy Judging (Part 2 of 2)
Now that we’ve placed the dairy judging class and taken good notes in Dairy Judging Part 1, it’s time to give oral reasons. Reasons are a two-minute speech explaining why you placed the class the way you did to a 4-H or FFA reasons judge. They are usually given about a class of animals the same age of the same breed. Depending on the competition and the student’s age, the contestant may give between one and five sets of reasons per contest.
Basic reasons are typically structured as seen below. The detail, number of traits presented, and thoroughness of reasons will increase as the student gains experience.
Reasons are given in comparative terms such as more or words ending in -er like longer, stronger, wider, etc. There are two-way traits, where the middle option is desirable versus one extreme or the other, and using a clarifying statement helps the reasons be specific. More information is included in the resources. Below are a few examples of comparative traits from each scorecard category. At the end of the post, there will be documents with many, many terms available to use in sets of reasons.
These are just a few examples of comparative conformational trait terms. For more trait, connecting, and grant terms and general statements, “Dairy Judging Terminology A Guide to Saying What She Is, Not What She Isn’t” from UGA has a thourough one here. UConn Extension has a general video about reasons given here.
So you’ve outlined your reasons and generally know what you are going to say. Visualizing the cows helps you remember and give reasons. Some delivery tips are below.
Be accurate, say what you see
Compare the cows instead of describing them
Use the present tense
Keep your reasons organized
Begin with the most important points first when comparing cows
Be as specific as you can be vs using general terms
It’s helpful to add in identification points such as I placed 2, the black cow, over…
Use the terms lists to have a variety of phrases
Use proper terminology, grammar, and pronunciation
Speak convincingly with a moderate speed
Overall, giving reasons is an organized, verbal way of justifying your placing of a dairy judging class. Defending your decision-making is invaluable in personal and professional development and is worth learning and practicing. There are multiple resources gathered below that will help you learn how to develop and deliver winning reasons.
Dairy Judging - Holstein Foundation -
Dairy Judging Terminology A Guide to Saying What She Is, Not What She Isn’t - University of Georgia
Judging Dairy Cattle - Giving Reasons - Oregon State University
Dairy Judging Part 2 - Oral Reasons with Megan Davenport - UConn Extension
Dairy Judging 101: Oral Reasons – Virginia Tech
Dairy Judging 101: Oral Reasons Part 2 - Virginia Tech
Dairy Judging 101: Reasons terminology part 1 - Virginia Tech
Dairy Judging 101: Advice on reasons from contest officials - Virginia Tech
Oral Reasons Video Examples:
2015 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Reasons by Sarah Thomas
2015 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Reason by Ben Powers
2015 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Reasons by Jenna Metzler
2015 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Reasons by Luke Powers
2015 4-H Dairy Judging Contest Reasons by Brooke Brantner