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Curtis Day debuts as World Dairy Expo judge

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 10/10/2012 1:08 PM

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BURNSVILLE, Minn. — This year's judge of the International Brown Swiss Show at World Day Expo has been judging dairy since he was 15 and has judged in 28 states.

Curtis Day, 68, of Burnsville, formerly of Maryland and Pennsylvania, will judge about 18 classes of Brown Swiss cows and heifers Oct. 3-4 during

World Dairy Expo, Oct. 2-6 in Madison, Wis.

Day admits he's partial to Holsteins because he grew up with Holsteins and raised them himself, but he enjoys judging all breeds.

"No matter what kind they are, a good cow's a good cow," he said. "I love judging all of them."

Day is co-founder of Tri-Day Holsteins with his parents, Roger and Lucille Day. The farm was located in Maryland.

Day relocated the farm to Pennsylvania with his wife, Ann, where they bred numerous All-American and Junior All-American nominated cattle. Tri-Day Adeen was named All-American four times in four years, the only Holstein in recent history to earn such distinction, he said.

Tri-Day Ashlyn was the 2001 Supreme Champion at World Dairy Expo.

They liquidated the herd in 2001 and moved to Lakeville with their heifers and a few older cows. Some of those cattle ended up in son David's herd.

David milks registered Holsteins in Missouri. Day said he's free labor for his son on the 50-cow dairy. He and Ann split their time between Minnesota

and Missouri, where they have twin grandchildren. Ann continues to work in the medical field in Minnesota.

Going to World Dairy Expo is nothing new for Day.

"I go every year – that's my fall vacation – but this year is a little special," he said.

It will be his first time judging at the elite event.

Day submitted his judging resume three, four or five years ago and was hoping to get called. People who want to judge Brown Swiss, Holsteins or

Milking Shorthorns at WDE submit their resume of what they've judged. If qualified, they are placed upon a list. Judges are selected from that list.

"I've been judging for 50 years," Day said. He started judging in 4-H when he was 15. He qualified for the county team and was one of the eight top

individuals in state competition in 1960. He went on to compete at the National 4-H Judging Contest and at the International Contest in England.

The look of the cow has certainly changed in five decades, Day said.

Today's cows are longer, taller and bigger and that's true across all breeds.

"There's competition everywhere," he said and the cows are only getting better.

Just over a week after World Dairy Expo, Day and his wife will leave for Australia, where he has been invited to judge the Semen On-Farm Challenge in the province of Victoria. He will visit about 50 farms there in a week and then tour the country for three.

It is his first international judging trip since his journey to England in his teens.