The 16 individuals chosen to judge the 2015 World Dairy Expo (WDE) breed shows have a difficult task ahead of them as they will be placing over 2,500 head of elite dairy cattle from around the world. These judges were nominated and selected by dairy cattle exhibitors, an honor reserved for only the best of the best cattle judges.
International Ayrshire Show
Lead Judge: Mary Creek
Mary and her husband, Mike, own and operate Palmyra Farm, LLC along with her brother and sister-in-law, Ralph and Terrie Shank. The farm consists of 300 acres with 103 Ayrshires and 96 Holsteins. They have received more than 130 All-American Ayrshire nominations and 44 All-American animals. They are a nine-time winner of the Premier Exhibitor and Premier Breeder awards at WDE and bred the 2013 and 2014 WDE Ayrshire Premier Sire, Palmyra Tri-Star Burdette. Mary made history in 1989 as the first woman to judge a national-level show. She has extensive experience judging Ayrshire shows and has officiated the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest for 10 years.
Associate Judge: Selwyn Donald
Selwyn Donald, Featherston Township in New Zealand, is the fourth generation on the family farm, which has 380 cows. He is also involved in his family’s semen company. Donald serves on the Senior Judges Panel of all breeds, and was the New Zealand Holstein Friesian Over Judge from 2007 to 2011. Selwyn is New Zealand’s most traveled judge, officating at shows such as the New Zealand Royal Ayrshire and Holstein shows, Great Yorkshire Ayrshire show, International Dairy Week Ayrshire show, United Kingdom Dairy Event Ayrshire and Interbreed shows, as well as the Brown Swiss, Ayrshire and Guernsey shows at the North Coast Dairy Spectacular in Australia.
International Brown Swiss Show
Lead Judge: Paul Trapp
Paul Trapp is a regional sire analyst with ABS Global. Paul, along with his wife, Sarah, and sons, Kole and Beau, own an elite group of registered Brown Swiss, Jerseys and Holsteins and have received All-American nominations across all three breeds. He is also a partner in Pit-Crew Genetics, which has received 19 Brown Swiss All-American Nominations since 2007. Paul has judged shows in 20 different states at the local, state and national levels, and internationally in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Paul has previously judged at Expo, serving as the 2010 Guernsey Show associate judge, 2011 Milking Shorthorn Show lead judge, 2013 Ayrshire Show lead judge and the 2014 Holstein Show lead judge.
Associate Judge: Tom Foss
Tom Floss, along with his wife, Julie, and daughters, Abby and Allison, reside in Cambridge, Minn. Tom works for ABS Global as a sales representative and sire evaluator. In 2005, Tom and his partners purchased their first Brown Swiss cow to develop Pit-Crew Genetics. They have bred and developed 10 Excellent cows and enrolled three bulls into AI. Pit-Crew Genetics has also received 19 All-American nominations. Tom’s judging history includes judging the Milking Shorthorn show at the North American International Livestock Exposition, the Ayrshire and Red & White Holstein shows at the Minnesota State Fair, the Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn shows at the South Dakota State Fair, and the 4-H and FFA shows at the Minnesota State Fair.
International Guernsey Show
Lead Judge: Lynn Harbaugh
Lynn Harbaugh works as an area sales representative with NorthStar Select Sires in north-central Wisconsin. Previously, Lynn was co-owner in a farm partnership that bred and developed Red & White and Holstein All-American nominees before a complete farm dispersal in 2009. Currently, Lynn and his wife, Sara, along with their three children, Jacob, Logan and Madison, own and operate Bella-View Holsteins. In 2011, Lynn was the co-breeder of the International Red & White Show Reserve Grand Champion, Wilstar-RS Tlt Limited-Red. Lynn has judged in more than 15 states and served as judge for the WDE International Red & White, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Milking Shorthorn shows. Lynn has judged internationally at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Canada and the National Holstein show in Mexico.
Associate Judge: Kevin Jorgensen
Kevin Jorgensen currently works as a dairy sire analyst for Select Sires, Inc., and as a pedigree announcer and ring man for cattle sales across the country. Kevin owns 80 registered Holsteins with Mystic Valley Dairy, LLC in Sauk City, Wis., and has bred or developed more than 30 Excellent cows. Kevin’s judging credentials include serving as the associate judge for the Junior Holstein Show and the lead judge for the Ayrshire and Guernsey shows at the Wisconsin State Fair, judging the Texas State Holstein Show, Central Wisconsin State Fair, Iowa District 1 Holstein Show and Wisconsin District 1 Holstein Show. He also serves as a member of the Wisconsin Holstein board of directors.
International Holstein Show
Lead Judge: Nathan Thomas
Nathan Thomas, North Lewisburg, Ohio, owns and operates Triple-T Holsteins and Jerseys. He and his wife, Jenny, and their children, Colton and Kendall, have been part of the operation since its establishment in 2006. Triple-T has garnered more than 80 All-American and All-Canadian nominations in the past 10 years. Home-bred highlights include T-Triple-T Gold Prize, Ex-94, named International Holstein Show Junior Champion at the 2009 Expo and Royal Winter Fair. Other notable individuals include Starmark Ad Hotstuff-Red-ET, Ex-94, the 2012 Reserve Grand Champion of the International Red & White Show. Nathan is slated to judge the Canadian National Holstein Convention Show, New York Spring Dairy Carrousel and National Spring Red & White Show and will serve as the official of the Jersey Show at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Associate Judge: Eddie Bue
Eddie Bue has worked as a farm manager/herdsman for Ludwig Farms since 2010. He and his wife, Mandi, also own Wide-Open Holsteins alongside his brother and sister-in-law. Eddie has owned and cared for numerous All-Americans and All-American nominations, including home-bred Wide-Open Durham Paris, who was nominated All-American twice. Before working at Ludwig Farms, Eddie and Mandi owned and operated Legendholm Holsteins and Jerseys, where they owned and boarded elite show cows, including Brookvilla Jasper Aka, KY-Blue Ruben Marla-Red-ET, Hillacres Morrae Maryland, Winterbay Goldwyn Lotto and Exels Goldwyn Anna-ET. His previous judging experience includes the 2011 Midwest Spring Red & White Show and the 2010 Illinois State Fair Holstein Show. He was also the 2005 Klussendorf-Mackenzie Award winner.
International Jersey Show
Lead Judge: Michael Heath
Michael Health grew up on Spring Valley Jersey Farm in Westminster, Md., and has made a living as a cattle merchandizer and breeder. Michael has owned or associated with many prominent Jersey cow families, including Vandenberg Amedeo Gorgeous, E-97; Waymar Patrick Nadine, E-97; Extreme Electra, E-95; and Pensmith TJ Mindy, E-94. Michael also developed and proved prominent Jersey sire SV Jade Hired Gun, before leasing him to St. Jacobs ABC. Michael has served as judge for the International Jersey Show, All-American Jersey Show, International Dairy Week and at the Royal. He has also judged the Holstein, Red & White and Milking Shorthorn shows at WDE and is slated to judge the 2015 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Holstein Show.
Associate Judge: Wayne Stiles
Wayne Stiles is from Westminster, Md., where he owns and operates Spring Valley Farm, which consists of 200 acres and 120 head of Jerseys. He has owned many outstanding Jersey animals, including Pleasant Valley Prime Heather, E-96, which he owned in partnership with his brother and nephew. Other prominent animals attributed to the farm include Edgeview Renaissance Jane, E-96, and Pinesmith TJ Mindy, E-94, who was the Grand Champion at Louisville in 1993. Wayne’s previous judging experience includes the Jersey show at the Eastern States show in Massachusetts and the Pennsylvania and Maryland Holstein Spring shows. Wayne is very active in helping junior members, having hosted the Maryland Judging School on his farm for 50 years.
International Milking Shorthorn Show
Lead Judge: Allyn Paulson
Allyn Paulson is the owner and operator of Paule-View Transport, LLC in Arlington, Wis. He and his girlfriend, Tammy Voegeli, specialize in boarding and developing show cattle for themselves and partners. Paulson has bred or developed seven 93-point cows in four breeds, including the 2013 International Ayrshire Show Junior Champion and the 2014 International Brown Swiss Junior Champion. He has also owned or housed many All-American nominations across the breeds. Previously, Paulson owned and operated Paule-View, which was dispersed in 2010, with a few foundation cows and show animals kept for his children, Suton and Dakota. He also has an extensive judging background for many different breeds, including judging multiple state fairs and serving as the associate judge for the Eastern National Brown Swiss Show.
Associate Judge: Mike Halpin
Mike Halpin, along with his fiancé, Michelle Fluty, and his kids, Owen and Colt, hail from Kempton, Ill. Mike, along with his dad, George, and uncle, Bill, own and operate Halpin Farms, which consists of 100 head of Milking Shorthorns and 4,000 acres of corn, soybeans and hay. The farm has been the only dairy herd to have received the Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor awards at Harrisburg, Madison and Louisville in the same year. The Halpins have exhibited the Grand Champion animal at the Pennsylvania All-American show four times, the Grand Champion at the North American show four times and the Reserve Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo four times. Mike’s previous judging experience includes the Minnesota, Texas and Kentucky State Fairs, the Pennsylvania Farm Show and the Kentucky Kow-A-Rama.
International Red & White Show
Lead Judge: Pat Conroy
Pat Conroy, along with his wife, Jeannie, and their two children, Kaiden and Zailey, reside in Angloa, Ind., where he works as a cattle fitter and markets purebred dairy cattle, selling both commercial and show cattle. Pat also owns 40 head of cattle housed in five different countries. Pat has previously judged at WDE, serving as the International Junior Holstein Show associate judge in 2012 and lead judge in 2013, as well as serving as the associate judge for the International Holstein Show in 2014. Pat has also had the opportunity to judge at the All-American Jersey Show in Harrisburg, the Brown Swiss Expo in Switzerland and the Red & White Holstein Show at the Eastern States Expo.
Associate Judge: Joël Lepage
Joël Lepage, along with his wife, Miraille Lavoie, and daughter Rosalie, hails from Amqui, Quebec. There, he milks 50 cows with a 26,400-lb. average with 4.2% fat and 3.46% protein. His judging history includes serving as the assistant Holstein judge at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 2014, lead judge at the Trois-Rivières Holstein show in 2014, the 2014 Expo Internationale Holstein Quebec Show in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, and the Western Canada Cup Holstein Show in 2013 in Saskatchewan.
International Junior Holstein Show
Lead Judge: Chad Ryan
Chad Ryan resides in Fond du Lac, Wis., with his wife, Amy, and two sons, Dylan and Cameron. There, he assists his parents, Mark and Mary, on their family farm, Ryan-Vu Holsteins, a 100-cow Registered Holstein herd. The family has bred or developed 13 All-American nominees and 11 Junior All-American nominees. He has judged at several notable shows, including the Midwest National Spring Red & White Show, All-American Red & White Show, Midwest Fall National Holstein Show, Southern National Holstein Show, the Aguascalientes Spring Show and the Mexico National Holstein Show. In 2013, Chad and Amy were honored to be recognized by Holstein Association USA as the National Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder award winner.
Associate Judge: Jamie Black
Jamie Black is a partner development manager for Semex. He also owns and operates Opportunity Genetics, which consists of 75 head of elite Holsteins and Jerseys. Jamie has owned and merchandised numerous All-American and All-Canadian Holsteins and Jerseys, including Ms Atwood Madison, Vandenberg Amedeo Gorgeous, Cowtown Durham Grasshopper and Greenlane Destry Laurel. Jamie has judged many notable shows, including the All-American Red & White Show, Holsteins at the New York State Fair Junior Show, Red & Whites at the New York Spring Show, Holsteins and Jerseys at the Ontario Spring Show, Pennsylvania Spring Holstein Show, and was associate judge for the All-American Jersey Show. Jamie and his wife, Petra, live in Constable, N.Y.