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Colleen Larson next to a cow at the Sunbelt Ag Expo

Sunbelt Ag Expo’s Milking Champ Hails from UF for Third Straight Year

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida continued its reign at an annual regional milking competition.

Colleen Larson, a UF/IFAS Extension regional specialized agent for dairy based in Okeechobee County, now has a new hat proclaiming her “Champion Milker,” the result of her win at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo on October 15, 2019 in Moultrie, Georgia.

Larson went up against three experienced milkers from the University of Georgia, Auburn University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The competition lasted just four minutes, with each competitor milking one of four Holstein cows for one minute at a time before rotating to another cow.

Larson credits her roots for her win: Her family is part of the South Florida dairy industry. Growing up, she took summer jobs working on dairy farms in North Florida, and while she was in college, she interned at a dairy farm in Colorado and also worked for the UF Dairy Unit.

This year’s participants highlighted women in agriculture. “I was honored to be selected to represent the University of Florida and to represent the industry in this competition,” she said.

Larson is the third consecutive winner from UF/IFAS Extension. Chris DeCubellis, a statewide specialized agent for UF’s 4-H program, won in 2018, and Nick Place, UF/IFAS Extension dean and director, claimed the 2017 title.

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS website at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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