AUGUST 10-13, 2024

The Dairy Cattle Show may reject any applications that are not properly prepared, or that are received or postmarked after entry date.  Cattle not shown will not be allowed on the grounds, unless permission is obtained from the Show Secretary prior to the Show.

Cattle must be entered in the name of the owner, as shown on registration papers.  Animals owned in partnership may be entered by either partner in open classes.  Certificates of registration must be presented at the Show which proves the exhibitor to be the owner when the entry was made.  Registered animals entered in the open show must have registration papers or they must be removed from the grounds.  All animals must be owned/leased by West Virginia residents or youth enrolled in the West Virginia 4-H or FFA program.

A 4-H member must be in at least the third grade during the current 4-H year to be eligible to show in 4-H classes (October 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024) and not over 21 years of age on or before January 1, 2024.

4-H and FFA members may, with registered cattle they own and were transferred to them by June 1st, 2024 (this applies to classes 1-3 and deadline for all other classes remains April 1st or on a partnership or leased basis) (see leasing guidelines at end of rules), enter such animals in 4-H and FFA classes.  “Transferred” refers to the date of the change in ownership, not the date the papers were processed by the respective breed association. Youth exhibitors must participate in showmanship and youth breed classes to be eligible for the youth show and youth premiums. This means youth must participate in showmanship and show their own animal(s) in breed classes.  If the youth doesn’t show their own animal(s), the animal(s) will be moved to the open class (excuses such as illness or death in the family accepted). If youth have two or more animals in the same class, another youth exhibitor may show the other animal(s).

Grade females may be entered, provided they (A) are the property of FFA or 4-H members; (B) are properly ear tagged or tattooed; (C) are sired by registered sires of one of the five dairy breeds; (D) look like the breed they represent.  ONLY REGISTERED CATTLE MAY BE SHOWN IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND OPEN CLASSES.

The Danish System will be used to place each class of cattle.  Ribbons awarded are blue, red, and white.  The blue ribbon group comprises the best animals.  The animals included in this group fall within the breed classification of Excellent or Very Good.  The red ribbon group is intermediate in quality and is made up of cattle that classify Good Plus.  The white ribbon group consists of the poorest animals in the class and classify Good or Fair.

Animals which are not entered in single classes will not be permitted to show in group classes.  All animals exhibited at the Dairy Show, except those entered in Classes 1 and 2, must be dehorned.

Animals erroneously entered may, at the discretion of the Secretary, be transferred to their proper classes prior to judging.  If such classes have been judged, they will not be reopened.

Exhibitors must attend their animals, milk out cows, if so directed by the judge, and answer such questions as the judge may deem essential.   The decision of the judge shall be final in all cases, except where mistakes, fraud, mis-representation or collusion, not discovered at the time of the award are proven.  In such cases, the President and/or Secretary will make the decision.  Appeals from such decisions shall be made by exhibitors in written form.  Such appeals must state plainly the cause for appeal and must be delivered to the Show Secretary within three hours after the decision of the President and/or Secretary was made.  Such appeals will be acted upon by the Board of Directors.

Any false representation, interference, unsportsmanlike conduct or deliberate violations of the rules of the Show on the part of the exhibitor will be dealt with by Show officials even to the extent of withholding premiums.

Exhibitors will permit Show officials to use their cattle in contests, parades, and demonstrations under supervised conditions.

All exhibitors will be under the control and direction of the President, but the Show will not in any case be responsible for any loss or damage that may occur.  Each exhibitor will be responsible for any loss, injury, and damage done, or occasioned by, or arising from, any animal exhibited by him.

Substitutions will be permitted within breed.  However, substitutions must meet health requirements and age requirements of the Show.

Showmanship awards are based on show ring performance.  Showmanship will be judged on the basis of the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association score card, as follows: (A) appearance of the animal, 40; (B) appearance of exhibitor, 10; and (C) showing the animal, 50 points.


  • Y-1 MASTER YOUTH SHOWMANSHIP (4-H and FFA members) Previous overall Grand Champion Showmen who are currently exhibiting at the Dairy Show.
  • Y-2 SENIOR YOUTH SHOWMANSHIP (4-H and FFA members) over 15 years of age on January 1, 2024 and who have not reached their 21st birthday on or before January 1, 2024, and previous Intermediate Showmanship Winners.
  • Y-3 INTERMEDIATE SHOWMANSHIP (4-H and FFA members) ages 12-14 years old as of January 1, 2024, and previous Junior Showmanship Winners.
  • Y-4 JUNIOR SHOWMANSHIP (4-H and FFA Members) age 9 years old or in third grade during the current year to 11 years old on or before January 1, 2024.
  • Y-5 OVERALL GRAND CHAMPION SHOWMAN.   Winner of Senior (Y-2), Intermediate (Y-3), and Junior Showmanship (Y-4) classes of this year.

Adult Showmanship: This event is open to all adults attending the Dairy Show on Sunday (not required to be an exhibitor). Anyone can pay $10 to nominate an adult to participate or you can pay $10 to nominate yourself.  If you have been nominated, you can pay $20 to opt-out of the competition. The deadline to nominate or opt-out is Sunday at 5:00 p.m. and all proceeds will benefit the Dairy Show.  All participants are required to arrange to use an animal for the competition.  The event will be held after the conclusion of the Youth Showmanship Classes and will be judged by the winner of Grand Champion Showmanship.

Dairy Handler’s Career Development Event: This event is open to FFA members entering into grades 10, 11, 12 or just graduated the past spring at the time of the state event. As long as the dairy show participant is an FFA member, they can participate in this event, regardless of whether their entry is a 4-H or FFA entry. FFA members that are not dairy show exhibitors may also compete using an exhibitor’s animal. Official FFA dress for the event is recommended but not required. The event will follow the same format as a dairy cattle showmanship class and participants will be evaluated using the showmanship criteria. The winning individual will receive a plaque and represent the WV FFA Association in the fall at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, IN to participate in the National FFA Dairy Handler’s Career Development Event.

BEST UDDER AWARD will be awarded to one animal in each milking cow class in the youth and open division.

PREMIUM BREEDER RIBBON will be awarded to the breeder (as the prefix appears on the registration papers) in each breed winning the most points, based on the system outlined below.

PREMIER EXHIBITOR RIBBON will be awarded to the exhibitor (only animals entered in individual, family or farm name) with the greatest number of points, based on the system outlined below.  The Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor is based upon the most points in a maximum of six single classes:

Place               1     2     3     4     5     6

Jr. Animal       6     5     4     3     2     1

Sr. Animal      12   10    8     6     4     2

Ties will be broken using the following criteria in the order listed:

  1. Least number of animals exhibited.
  2. Grand Champion female
  3. Junior Champion female

A minimum of three animals must be exhibited in a breed to award the Grand Champion awards, Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor ribbons.

PREMIER YOUTH EXHIBITOR AWARD is to recognize youth members who participate in and maintain the high standards of the WV Dairy Cattle Show.  There will be a Junior Award – Youth under 14 years of age on January 1, 2024, and a Senior Award – Youth over 14 years of age on January 1, 2024 who have not reached their 21st birthday on or before January 1, 2024.  Animals must be bonafide 4-H or FFA project animals, and they must be so entered and shown as entered.  The award will be based on the following.

1.    Showmanship:

Blue Ribbon 6 points
Red Ribbon 4 points
White Ribbon 2 points
Gr Champion Showman or Jr./Sr. Champion Showman 1 point

2.    Placings in Class:

Blue Ribbon 4 points
Red Ribbon 3 points
White Ribbon 2 points
Points will be counted for youth classes only.
(No additional points will be awarded for winning an open class.)  When more than one animal is exhibited, the one with the highest points earned will be used.

3.    Participation in the Dairy Quiz Bowl:

All youth are eligible to compete in the Dairy Bowl as specified in the rules.
Participants scoring in top 1/34 points
Participants scoring in middle 1/33 points
Participants scoring in bottom 1/32 points

4.    Judging:

Blue Ribbon 4 points
Red Ribbon3 points
White Ribbon2 points

5.    Participation in the Dairy Skillathon:

All youth are eligible to compete in the Dairy Skillathon as specified in the rules. Points will be awarded as follows:

Participants scoring in the top third 4 points
Participants scoring in the middle third 3 points
Participants scoring in the bottom third 2 points

Members who have represented West Virginia in the National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Contest will receive 4 points.

In the event of a tie for Premier Youth Exhibitor the following methods may be utilized to break the tie: 1) Panel Interview; 2) Essay Contest; 3) Objective Test; 4) Creative Advertisements; and 5) Impromptu Speech.  In the event of a tie, the method used will be drawn at random. In the Senior Premier Youth Exhibitor category, the Senior Youth Fitting Contest will be the first tie-breaker.  The highest ranked individual in this contest would be the winner.

EXHIBITOR HOUSEKEEPING AWARDS:   To attract visitors, to promote the educational aspects of the Show and to facilitate cleanliness and orderliness in the barns, will be paid in the amounts of $100, $75, $50, to 3 herdsmen for: (A) grooming of animal, 30 points; (B) condition of stalls and alley around animals, 30 points; (C) conduct and courtesy of exhibitors to the public, 20 points; and (D) educational/promotional theme, 20 points.

PREMIUMS: Youth exhibitors must participate in showmanship and youth breed classes to be eligible for the youth show and youth premiums. This means youth must participate in showmanship and show their own animals in breed classes.  As appropriate, a Merit Award will be paid for each animal a 4-H member shows.  This award is sponsored by Farm Credit of the Virginias. This Merit Award is based upon the type of animal, proper fitting, showmanship, judging, and records.  A similar award is made to the FFA members by the WV Division of Culture and History along with a premium for each animal exhibited.  This is based upon the class in which the animal is exhibited.

ANTIBIOTICS: All exhibitors having cows milked in the milking parlor are required to sign a statement as follows: “I certify that all of my cows milked in the milking parlor have not been treated with any antibiotics, rBST, or other medicines that will contaminate the milk.  I understand all cows may be subjected to antibiotic checks and I may be held responsible for contaminating the bulk tank if any samples from my cows are positive for antibiotics.”

EXHIBITOR HARNESSES will be available at the Show.  Harnesses can be picked up at registration.  Exhibitors will be responsible to return harnesses to the Show Clerk no later than Tuesday, August 13th at 3:00 PM.  If lost or damaged there will be a $10 replacement fee.


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