Our senior chapter member Kyla Stockdale has been participating in the Dairy Handling CDE since her freshman year of high school.
Kyla said, “Due to COVID I was unable to participate one year, so this was my third year competing.” Throughout her years of high school, Kyla has secured many placements. In her freshman year, she placed 17th out of 39, her Sophomore year she placed 4th of 9, and Senior year she placed 11th out of 36. Her favorite part of the CDE is being in the ring doing what she loves, which is showing.
The Dairy handling CDE is held at The Ohio State Fairgrounds. This year it was held on March 29, 2022. Kyla’s day at this event includes anywhere from an hour to an hour and a fifteen-minute drive to The Ohio State Fairgrounds. Once she arrives, she has to make sure she is registered, and then she waits for directions. On the same day, the state dairy judging competition takes place, so as a dairy handler you are the ones showing the cattle and other members are judging. Each contestant is given an animal to show, you are somewhat judged based on showmanship skills, but also you are trying to show the animal off for the judges and it can get a little tricky. This year at the CDE there were so many handlers everyone only got to go into the ring once. After all the contestants show a heifer, most contestants stay around to hear the results. The judges only place the top ten handlers.
A little background on how Kyla got started is a River Valley FFA Chapter alumni member had mentioned it to her. Kyla also exhibits dairy cattle at the county fair, so she thought it would be a fun and great way to learn. Kyla’s advice to members that would want to try this is not to be scared. Kyla sited “She is not an expert showman by any means and some of the people that also participate have been showing at big shows their whole life. Even though others have been doing shows their whole life, this shouldn’t discourage you from wanting to try something new. Going into this I knew I wouldn’t place first since I didn’t have much experience, but I did it because it was something I enjoy doing and have learned from the experience.”