Student and Academic Life

UK Student Triumphs in 2019 World Dairy Expo Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest

Four individuals stand on podium with awards and logo
(Left to right) Dave Selner, executive director of the National Dairy Shrine; UK student Madison Dyment; Derek Nolan, UK doctoral student and team coach; and Larissa Tucker, UK senior extension associate for Dairy Youth Programs. Photo submitted.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 9, 2019) — For the past 10 years, Madison Dyment has been evaluating dairy cattle. All those years of dedication paid off when she recently won first overall individual in the 2019 World Dairy Expo’s Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest. She also took first place in oral reasons and in two breed categories.

“I’ve always immersed myself in the dairy industry,” said Dyment, who is a senior studying agricultural communications in the UK Department of Community and Leadership Development and print journalism in the UK School of Journalism and Media. “I’m always observing and judging them informally. My stepdad, Jamie Howard, has always been my personal coach. He’s pushed me and helped me become who I am. He’s the best cow person I know.”

Howard also judged dairy cattle while in school at UK many years ago. Dyment also credits her collegiate coach, Derek Nolan, with much of her success.

“We are constantly practicing,” she said. “On the way to the World Dairy Expo, we spent two days going farm to farm, judging and evaluating different cows and then giving oral reasons about them. He cares so much about our team, and he loves the industry. He really wants us to have the best overall experience.”

Nolan is a doctoral student in the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. He teaches the dairy judging class and has coached the dairy judging team for the past two years.

“I am very excited for Madison,” Nolan said. “I know how much time and effort she put in to get to this point. We had a pretty good feeling going into the competition that she could win. It’s a great accomplishment for her and for our program.”

Dyment came to UK from Burgessville, Ontario. She plans to attend graduate school upon graduation. She would like to continue studying agricultural communications and become a professor someday, giving back to the industry she loves so much.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.