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(L to R) Mr. & Mrs. Robert and Karen Schwandt from Schwandt Farms; Jacob Nehls; Sawyer Brandenburg; Aaron Katzman representive from Katzman Farms; Erin Strauss; Ashley Brandel and AgSource Regional Sales Manager, Rodney Davis.


Wisconsin is famous for delicious dairy products, but it all starts with high-quality milk. The Miss Q Contest, sponsored by AgSource Cooperative Services, rewards junior dairy exhibitors for their excellent dairy practices. Four youth were recognized Saturday, July 9, at the Jefferson County Fair. Ashley Brandel, Lake Mills; Erin Strauss, Lake Mills; Sawyer Brandenburg, Fort Atkinson and Jacob Nehls, Juneau, were each awarded the Miss Q title and given the opportunity to sell one half-gallon of milk at the AgSource Miss Q Auction, held during the fair. 

Cows on a processed DHI testing program that have completed a first, second, third or fourth-or-higher lactation were eligible for the award. The cow in each lactation class with the highest milk quality, determined by somatic cell count and overall milk composition, was declared the winner.  Proceeds from the auction were awarded to the winning youth exhibitors to assist with further development of their dairy project or finance their post secondary education.

The AgSource Miss Q first lactation winner was Ashley Brandel of the South Side Eagles 4-H, with her cow Fudge. Ashley is the daughter of Matt and Tracy Brandel of Lake Mills, Wis. Her half-gallon of quality milk was purchased for $575.00 by Tri-County Dairy. Waupun Equipment was contending bidder.

Erin Strauss, a member of the South Side Eagles 4-H Club, Lake Mills, Wis. captured the second lactation award with her cow Holiday. The daughter of Bruce and Tammy Strauss, her quality milk pitcher was sold for $550.00. Franks Organic Feed and Supply, Jefferson, Wis., was the successful bidder, with contending bidding from Midwest Electric & Farmers Implement of Columbus.

Sawyer Brandenburg earned the Miss Q third lactation with cow Alana. Sawyer is the son of Jim and Peggy Brandenburg of Fort Atkinson, Wis., and is a member of the Country Clovers 4-H Club. Katzman Dairy of Whitewater, Wis., purchased Sawyer's half-gallon of milk for $550.00. Contending bidders were Premier Bank of Fort Atkinson, Palmyra Storage LLC and Klement Towing.

Fourth lactation winner was Jacob Nehls, of Juneau, Wis., with his cow Joellen. He is the son of John and Vonda Nehls. Jacob's half-gallon of quality milk was purchased for $625.00 with a winning bid by Schwandt Farms-Karen and Robert Schwandt of Jefferson, Wis. Partnership Bank was the contending bidder.

AgSource would like to say a special thank you to Christine Peters, Dairy Superintendent, and Linda Wright, Dairy Show and Sales Committee Chairperson, for helping coordinate the Miss Q Contest for the junior exhibitors at the Jefferson County Fair. Sincere thanks also goes to the Jefferson County Meat Animal Auction Committee, Mike Stade for serving as this year's Miss Q Auctioneer, and Jeff Agnew for announcing each exhibitor at the auction.

AgSource, a member-owned cooperative headquartered in Verona, Wis., is a leader in agricultural and environmental laboratory analysis and information management services. A subsidiary of Cooperative Resources International, AgSource provides services to clients in the United States and across the globe. Learn more at www.agsource.com.