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Glencoe native member of U of M winning dairy judging team

Glencoe native Nathan Donnay helped lead the University of Minnesota dairy cattle judging team to an overwhelming win at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, beating out 17 other teams. The team won by 54 points, the second-largest in history.
Donnay himself,  a senior animal science major, also placed second overall in individual rankings, with a first-place win in Jersey, third in Holstein, fifth in Milking Shorthorn, sixth in Red and White and seventh in Brown Swiss. His teammate Vincent Migliazzo took first overall for individuals. Sixty-nine college students competed in the contest.
Donnay and his three teammates were excited about the win.
“It was unbelievable,” he said. “We had talked since we were freshmen in college that this was the end goal of our judging career. We put many, many hours into it and wanted to make it worthwhile.”
The team’s success is due in part to the friendship among the four men, Donnay said.
“As a team we were all really good friends,” Donnay said. “We had a really good attitude about our practices and also had a lot of fun and did not stress out too much before contests.”
Practice, and lots of it, also led to the win. Starting back in sophomore year, every fall the team would go on a judging workout that consisted of eight days of practice at different farms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In spring, the team would work on its oral reasons on cows from the university’s herd.
“We learned to stay calm and collected before contests because we were staying positive and confident we could do well because we have practiced so much,” Donnay said.
Donnay’s own preparation started long before he even started at the University of Minnesota, in his hometown of Glencoe.
“Growing up on my family’s farm and showing cattle at the McLeod County Fair got me started in the dairy cattle project,” Donnay said.

For more, see the Oct. 28 print edition of The Chronicle.