Holstein Canada

National Judging Program

Holstein Canada's National Judging Program

Canada is internationally recognized for our training and development program, which helps judges learn how to properly evaluate dairy cattle. Canada’s judging program has garnered many great judges and ambassadors for the Canadian dairy industry both in North America and abroad.

Canada’s judging program has been shared with many other countries who consider Canada’s judging program a gold standard in how to develop judges to ensure animals at shows are being properly evaluated to match the desirable modern-day kind of dairy cattle that all farmers like to milk.

Holstein Canada works with provincial branches to execute provincial judging programs that are consistent and uniformed across Canada to ensure a uniformed national judging program. Currently, there are 180 judges across Canada who belong to the National Judge’s List that is managed by Holstein Canada. The following pages below outline the general details of Canada’s National Judging program.

Holstein Canada's National Judging Conference

The National Judging Conference is a world-class training and development event offered to Holstein Canada judges to help further develop and promote judges across Canada. While each provincial branch holds evaluation clinics and judging conferences each year, Holstein Canada holds a National Judging Conference every three years. The Conference provides both an in-class session and practical judging session so judges can be trained on matters relating to judging practices in the ring and then the following day, put into action, what they were taught as they judge and are marked in a practical judging setting. Only a select number of judges are chosen each Conference to attend based on their level of expertise and experience as an Official Judge in Canada.

Goals of the National Judging Conference:

  1. Have a truly ‘national’ focus
  2. Have judges make a commitment to their craft and invest in their judging career
  3. Attendance is mandatory for both the in-class session and practical judging session
  4. Provide mentorship opportunities for all levels of judges
  5. Hold first-class event that is enjoyed by judges personally and professionally

Judging Conference Guidelines coming soon!

International Judging Program

Holstein Canada works with the Federal Government through the Agri-Marketing Program (AMP) to offer opportunities for Canadian judges to officiate abroad in foreign countries. Over the years, Canada has sent over 50 judges to more than 100 countries to evaluate and judge dairy cattle. Canadian judges have become well-respected and knowledgeable resources for international countries on not only judging practices, but management practices that Canadian dairy farmers use on-farm and in showing other countries how to prepare animals for the show ring.

Selection of Judges

Judges are given international judging assignment opportunities based on their official judging status; their judging experience throughout Canada; their score(s) received at a National Judging Conference and provincial judging schools/evaluation clinics; and their knowledge and ability to be an Ambassador for Holstein Canada and the Canadian dairy industry.


Before leaving on an international judging assignment, all judges are provided with an international judging package that outlines the expectations and requirements of judging abroad, as well as what to expect in the country they will be officiating in.

All judges are also provided with a custom-made powerpoint presentation in the case that they are asked to do a presentation that provides an overview of the Canadian dairy industry and information on Holstein Canada programs and services. Judges are also provided with promotional material from Holstein Canada to give to breeders while on their travels.