Dairy, rabbit and beef shows keep youth busy on Oct. 5 at the fair

| October 6, 2020

It may not be the fair they hoped for, but the youth who showcased their animals on Oct. 5 were excited to be there and very happy that they could show off the animals they have been working with for months.

The day began with the dairy show in Hunter Arena. Taryn Tumblin, 14, had the Grand Champion Ayrshire. “It’s sad we can’t have the whole fair, but this way definitely had less distractions. Sometimes, the cows are scared by the rides and lots of people.” She shows dairy cows because her family has shown them for years.

“It’s fun to work with a cow. They are gentle and easy to show. Well, they aren’t easy to train, but they are fun. In the show, we have to keep their head up while we walk backwards and then set their legs. It takes lots of patience. Sometimes, they go crazy and other days, they are perfect. You just have to roll with it. I’m so glad we got to show this year.” She said if her cow refuses to walk in the show, she just keeps going and tries to get her to move. “You have to be subtle, but sometimes, you can try to yank her to make her move.”

Ashlyn Tumblin, 14, won Reserve Grand Champion Ayrshire. This is her fifth year for showing cows. “I showed a cat yesterday and usually, we do horses, too, but this year we aren’t. Horses are the easiest to show, because they are tamer and more predictable. Cows are just so unpredictable. They might do really good one day and be bad the next, but I really like showing.”

Ashlyn spends her summer working with her cow. “I like watching how she grows and how well she does. I have learned to be really patient and not get frustrated because getting mad won’t get me anywhere.” She said she has to feed and water her cow twice a day and give her hay. She also cleans out her pen and walks her every day. “In the summer, they are out in a big field and won’t let us catch them.  So in August, we bring them to a smaller pen and really start to work every day with them to get ready for the fair.”

Shiloh Kinzel, 11, was also showing a dairy cow at the fair. This is her third year and she also shows market hogs. “Hogs are slightly easier.” Kinzel said having animals has taught her responsibility. “Kids are supposed to be responsible before they grow up and taking care of animals teaches that. To show a cow, usually, we have to shave them and make sure they are clean and groomed.” She said sometimes she has to tug to make her cow walk, because it is really hard to walk a cow when they don’t want to walk. “I just try to stay calm and keep trying to get her to move. The best part of having a cow is cuddling with her.  I really like cuddling with Holley (her cow) and she likes it, too.”

This was Gavin William’s first year to show rabbits at the fair and the nine year old was really nervous. “I like them because they are soft, and they are calm. I have to pose them in the show and take care of them every day. Playing with them is my favorite part of having rabbits.”

Brayleigh Cox, 10, was showing rabbits for the second time. “I’m not really nervous. I wanted to show rabbits because my mom did. It’s been a great learning experience and has taught me to be more responsible. I have to feed and water them every morning and every night.” Cox was also showing goats and chickens.  “Rabbits are the easiest. My mom taught me everything. If one won’t sit still, I just have to do my best and not get mad.”

This was also Caitlin Swiney’s second year to show rabbits. She chose to show rabbits because they live in town and they are little. “They are easy to take care of.” She was showing a pen of three and said she keeps them all lined up on the table by setting them together and then keeping her hands on the outside rabbits. “Then I pet them to keep them in place and calm.”

Brynna Kirkpatrick, 16, has shown rabbits for six years and has also shown hogs. “Rabbits are easier to keep year round and they are less stubborn. I work with them all the time.” She has 40 rabbits at home. She has too many meat rabbits to work with every day. “I work with my breeding rabbits more. Having animals definitely teaches you to be responsible. I have to take care of them every morning and every night, so it keeps me on schedule.” Kirkpatrick travels to open rabbit shows, too.

Cadence Luyando, 9, was showing a beef cow for the first time this year. She said she was nervous. “I wanted to show a rabbit, but they bought me a cow. He’s stubborn sometimes and I have to poke him to move him.  He’s fun, though.” She said she has learned how to take care of a cow and how to brush him.

Elizabeth Sampsel, 17, was showing both dairy and beef cows. “I showed chickens and a duck, but I wanted to show a bigger animal. I jumped from tiny to giant. I started with dairy, but I do both now. I wish we were selling them because I’d like the money for college, but we are keeping them for ourselves.”

This was the third year that Alaena Huff, 11, was showing a market beef steer.  “His name is Rocky, the Italian Stallion but we just call him Rocky. He’s named after the movie.” She said she started with market steers because that’s what her dad showed when he was a kid and he knows so much about it. “I want to be a vet someday and I love being with all the animals. This is helping me learn what to do and how to take care of them.”

Jaxson Huff, 9, was showing for the first time. “His name is Whiskey Jack. I’m kind of nervous and kind of scared. It’s going to be hard to keep an eye on the judge all the time.” He wanted to show because it looked like fun. “And I love farming and showing will get me more experience.”

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