How much do you know about cows?
Some local teenagers, along with others from around the state, used their knowledge to win awards at the 2012 National Holstein Convention in Springfield, Mo., on June 27-30.
The competition, known as The Dairy Bowl, tests participants' knowledge in bovine health, nutrition, care and other dairy-related information.
Coach Kirsten Areias said she was proud of how much hard work her team put into studying for the event.
"They decided they were going to win. There's no you just get lucky and answer a few more questions than your competitor in this (competition)," Areias said.
The first day of competition brought a win for California in the Senior Division of Dairy Jeopardy as Taylor Pires of Los Banos took third place. Pires also used the knowledge she obtained for the competition to secure a $2,000 scholarship.
Areias' junior team became national champions by beating a previously undefeated Iowa team in the finals by a score of 135-60. The senior team also accomplished the feat by beating Iowa 110-57. It marks the first time California has won the national championship in both divisions.
Senior team members Tony Lopes and Elise Regusci placed first and second respectively in the written test portion of the event.
Lopes also won the Young Distinguished Junior Member Award, which recognizes 9- to 16-year-olds for their achievements and leadership in Holstein activities, as well as school and community involvement.
California also had three winners in the National Prepared Public Speaking Contest.
What makes Areias most proud of the team isn't the awards.
"I like to see the kids developing leadership skills in the dairy industry or whatever industry they go into," she said.
Areias said most of the students who compete at the Holstein Convention are in FFA. She said, even for the ones who are not, the competition teaches them impressive study skills because of the massive amounts of information they learn to retain.
Enterprise Staff Writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.