Mossley, Ontario’s Laura DeKlein wasn’t raised on a dairy farm but she sure has a great eye for cows.
DeKlein is a member of Ontario’s 4-H team that competed in this month’s National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.
Along with teammates Brett Stockdale, Collin Allardyce, and Josh Karn, the 20-year-old finished 5th out of 29 teams, one of the best results since Ontario started competing in the prestigious contest 27 years ago.
While her teammates hail from dairy farms, DeKlein actually grew up on a hobby farm. She credits her parents, who were raised on hog and dairy farms, for nurturing her eye for cows. She initially took an interest in showmanship at 4-H competitions, but it wasn’t long before her attention turned to confirmation, genetics and sire analysis.
She also acknowledges the importance of many industry leaders; the 4-H program and her coach, Murray Reissner, with helping her make it to Madison.
Real Agriculture’s Bernard Tobin caught up with DeKlein at the Semex tent at World Dairy Expo. In this interview, she shares some thoughts on the important role 4-H has played in helping her reach her goals and why other young people should aspire to travel to the world’s biggest dairy show.
Check our more WDE coverage.