The fair.. Fun stuff

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by JeffNY, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Well our fair ended sunday, and this morning the animals were home, with us shortly there after. I have some good stories to share, some include bias and some are good. I'll start with the good, positive stuff.


    What is good about the fair is you meet people, make friends and have fun. Moving everything down, taking 3 days, takes some time. We planned on what was to be done, so it went fairly smooth. Tuesday was the farmer olympics, we participated in that and did well for the first time (7th out of 12 teams). Wednesday prep work was done, getting the toplines set for the show on Thursday. Well the big day came, and it's funny it took its time coming, yet after the show. Time flew by. The classes I showed in were, senior heifer calf, summer yearling, jr. yearling and Int. senior yearing. We had 1 in the first class, 2 in the second, 3 in the 3rd and 1 in the last class. Now I did learn one lesson, have runners! The first class I arrived at a good decent time, 2nd class was good. But the 3rd got close. Our barn was quite a distance from the ring, so it took a minute to get back. Well we got back, switched halters and tried to run back with the 3. THEY WONT RUN! We did get there, arrived just in time, lady undertstood because we were a little ways off. The 4th class was even tighter. after showing we headed back. I grabbed the heifer and tried running up. Well they had begun, just called out my name, but did so just as I arrived. I know one thing I am doing next year, 2 per class, people helping as well. So how did I place? Well, we did well.

    Senior Heifer Class - Aquila placed 20th or so out of 30-35. I knew she would not place well, however she was a warmup, something to get the jitters out PRACTICE :).

    Summer Yearling - Amnesty placed 9th out of 18, I consider that a good placing.

    Summer Yearling - Turks placed 3-4 placed behind Amnesty. The judge loved dairy character (as do I, and he did one hell of a job). I wish I brought Jenel, similar age to Amnesty. She is taller, wider and has a nice long clean neck. But, live and learn!

    Jr. Yearling - Sassy placed 8th out of 20 animals, her hocks are not nice and straight, fairly deep body, tail head sits up a little.

    Jr. Yearling - Fido.Red placed 5th out of 20 animals, and one hell of a compliment came from the judge, and it beats out 1st any day. You don't need 1st. This is what he said "The 5th place heifer was the most dairy out of all of the animals in this class, if she was taller she would have been placed 1st". That made me glow.

    Jr. Yearling - Speedy placed 4th out of 20 animals. She didn't have the width of the 3rd place heifer, had the height, width was different. It is amazing to place 4th and 5th, in the top 5. The fact the judge said what he said about red was awesome.

    Int. Senior Yearling - Kahlua placed 11th (I beleive) out of 20 or so. I brought her for the fun of it, she led beautifully. Head high, tracked well.

    The following day the swiss was shown, she placed 5 out of 5, she didn't have the capacity, and was the youngest in her class, height was the same, depth was not. Two people did say at the fair (took her for a walk to a couple other barns), that she looks very good, good topline etc. So we did well, and whats funny. We are new, and here the new guy comes, and places well. Speedy jumped from 7th at a B&W show, to 4th at this show. Red jumped from 11th to 5th (B&W show was 11th). Red is very dairy, everything on that animal molds together. I did get her bred today, and I hope she drops a nice udder, because if she does. She will do well.


    Now for the other news. As anyone knows, when your new at an event, such as a fair, especially one that is the 2nd biggest next to the ny state fair. There will be favoritism, certain pressure etc. Well when we arrived at the fair with the animals we tied them all up, threw food in front of them so they would start to settle. Our neighbors were ok. One was a real J#%#@, you know. Well he looked over at the bull calf we have, our bull calf has a couple rub marks from the halter. He didn't look long, just a quick look. About an hour later, the USDA guy comes through to look the animals over. Now I was up getting hay, or something similar, might have been the picnic table or something. Well when I did arrive my mother informs me that the vet needs to take a look at a questionable spot. Now at the time I did not connect the dots. The vet came, and had to take his flashlight out, look super close and went. "Yup yup, has ringworm. Here is my question, does the vet even know what ringworm looks like. Ringworm is raised, it does not look like hide that has been scratched. His mark was a rub mark. I did not argue with him, we complied etc etc. Well we sent the bull calf home, with his mother who had to go with him. The people who trucked them home looked at the mark. These people have shown for years and years. They said that that is not ringworm, it was a rub mark. The mark on the bull is where the halter lies. Well we got back, moved animals a little to take up the room. Well a day or so later a heifer calf on the opposite side of one of my heifers, and a neighbors Angus cow had pink eye. I wonder, how the heck can a vet or USDA guy miss a nice white spot in the eye?!?!. Well we had the USDA come buy, put pressure on. The animal had to go. Well Friday I went over to talk to someone. I told this girl about what happened etc, she said "I have to show you something". As anyone that goes to a fair, or show. Ringworm, warts, mange and some other stuff is not allowed. This one cow had warts all over its neck, and head. Yet it was let go. Later I took my mother over to show her, and talked to the same girl. She told us more, the vet told them to cut off the warts before the show!. How the #)(@ can that fly? Yet my animal, with a so called patch of ringworm needed to go? Something ain't right here. Well I went back, and was talking to the neighbor (the angust guy). He told me a good story, and the same friggen thing happened to us. He was sitting, USDA guy goes through, combed his animals over, checked the neighbors. Well he got to some other people, and he looked from the aisle, and kept going. Well he chased him down, said "what are you doin?". The guy goes "what do you mean?". "Well how come you walked through mine, checked them head to hoof, and checked the neighbors but didn't check them?" Well he said "I am checking them" (or something similar). The USDA person played favoritism. IMO that is not fair at all. Well I learned a lot, learned the politics of the fair. Next year when we go again, I am going to make sure I am there, and I will be watching all of this go on. They wont have spots, if they do and it is NOT something. I will question the vet, and the USDA guy. "From what I understand, if I removed it I can still stay". "Atleast thats what you told someone else to do the previous year". I know next year, I will accept nothing lying down, I will even bring in my own vet to look. See they messed with the wrong people, when I get caught off guard I certaintly wont let it happen again. I am not going to make a scene, I know I will be ready. Also, we brought 9 down. I am not going to bring less, I will bring 16-18. See they might try to deture me, ha! That ain't happenin. But what I did connect was the bull, and that guy looking. I saw the bulls come out of the ring. He would have kicked ass in there, he was hands down, the better bull. I do beleive someone saw the competition and did something about it. Not now, but if I find better show someday, and this stuff goes on and on. I will make a monsterous stink. But since I want to go, and want to be in the same barn. I will be hush hush, and keep alert.

    The show was fun, fair was fun, but the politics only make me more competative.

    Jeff

    If some words are spelled wrong, I am soooo whipped while writing this, my eyes keep wanting to close lol. Damn that friggen fair whips grits.
     
  2. JElfering

    JElfering Dairy Dreamer

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    Jeff,
    What an event and talk about politics! I am so sorry your experience had some sour taste to it. I am glad however at the placings and the good stuff.

    Our County fair is not as big. For heaven's sake we are in the northwoods of Wisconsin. I couldn't attend personally the judging but I do know that certain folks were not happy to see our cows. Apparently they had been taking all the placings before we arrived on scene last year. This was our second year. I think we are left alone because the holsteins bring more competition. Ours competed after the big holstein event.

    One of the competing members is the dairy that we purchased our milker from and we cannot seem to get the breeding information on the name of dam and bull. His son competes with our children. This year he softened and let us know who the mother was of our milker. My children are trying to get them registered. I do not see why it is an issue for him. I even said I was willing to look at the records (of which he keeps real good ones per a friend).

    My daughter wants to take her spring yearling to state next year. I suppose we may encounter some of these politics there. I dread it after hearing your story. However, I thank you for sharing so we are more prepared for what can happen.

    Congratulations on your placings,
    Jen
     

  3. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Jen,



    Dont be intimidated with the politics, or any pushy attitudes you encounter. The best thing anyone can do is do not budge an inch, don't let anyone push you around (unless it is someone who is running the place). If your neighbor is being a pain, if its a big function like the state, then you can say something. The problem with the fairs, atleast some, is the fact it is a small town atmosphere. In those cases, you strike back with competetiveness, you put on a bigger show, you get people involved. I am going to get some kids involved, im going to bring other peoples animals (ones who dont show, but have registered show quality animals). If we still get harassed, ill go even further the following year. There are favorites, and some judges know people and as you said, place animals before they enter the ring. This happened at a fair that ends on Labor day. The Judge had his picks before the show began, and I heard this from two people. This is why you go to big events, where you have large classes and the judge is a professional judge.


    But with people withholding the Dam, the sire of the dam, and the sire of the calf (or cow), you own. That is backwards, considering now matter what you use, does not determine what the calf will be like. Durham was one hell of a bull. I saw some Durham's at the fair, and a couple were good, but another I saw was horrid IMO. That is where the whole picking the right bull comes into place. But it is a gamble, no matter how good you are.


    Jeff
     
  4. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on your faair turnout.Sounds like your still fired up, and ready for more. The politics and favorism will be everywhere so just get use to it some day it could work in your favor. Having to take home animalls for ringworm is always frustrating. One of our 4H families had to take a calf home even though the vet had cleared her on health papers. Last year they forgot to enter in the open division, prevoius years heifers were sratched for other reasons. It is always something. This year we had 26 head at the state fair, while many did OK we thought it they should have done better. Then we realize how spoiled we have become and are grateful for having that many good ones. Fairs can be a lot of fun and a lot of work, but are dang additive.
     
  5. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    Growing up, I showed pigs and beef steers, but I've been showing Holsteins since the early 1970s. It is fun to show cattle and to be competitive is good, but you have to keep some perspective on it. At the end of the day, you're first and foremost a dairyman. You make your living taking care of business at home, not in the show ring. Some of the highest BAA herds in this part of the country never show, even at the district and state B&W show.

    I've paid to truck and have my cattle shown at district and state B&W shows, state fairs, Cattle Congress and Dairy Expo. It's a surefire money-loser, and tremendously stressful on the animals. My boys and I accumulated a room full of trophies and ribbons, and I figure we spent quite a bit of time and money winning some of those trophies. It took me a couple years to realize we would only show at a couple local fairs and District B&W show.

    Without criticizing, please take this for what it's worth. Anyone can make enemies, but if you try a little bit, you'll make lots of friends. We knew we were green when we started, and we got a lot of advice. Some of it was very nice and some of it came with a bit of superiority, but it was all useful at the end of the day. If you get the reputation for being a heller, people will be reluctant to help and approach you. You can pick up quite a bit talking shop with the other breeders and exhibitors.

    In all my years of showing and judging, I can state that there's only been a couple times where the fix was in on a class. Now, judges definitely have biases -- in terms of what they value or look for in an animal -- but that's not a fix or favoritism. Does chicanery happen, you bet. When my boys were showing, our local county fair wasn't large (Most classes were under 15 animals and the milking cow classses were 5-10 per class.) My oldest boy won three years in a row with a Hageman's Tempo that scored EX-91-2E but had lactations of 22-23,000 lbs. of milk in 305d. We brought her again and found out during the show that the milking cow classes were judged 75% on production and 25% on type. This is all the cow classes, not the production class. I wanted to file a protest, but my boy said not to bother. He said, "Dad, don't sink to their level." Other boy had a Straight-Pine Pete that was a 4-yr old by the next fair and had 32,683 in a 305 at 3 yrs. 6 months. This Pete was only scored 87 then, but went on to score 94 and have a 365d lactation of 39,920. Needless to say, she put an end to the cow classes being judged on production and type.

    The thing I always worried about at these fairs was harm to the animals. The second year we showed, someone let a couple of our heifers loose twice and burned the halter rope off one (Could see the burn mark on her head.) Again, the lesson learned was ALWAYS keep someone there at the fair. My wife and kids traded off shifts of watching the animals.

    At my age and with no kids around, I go to a large county fair and show open class, a Blue Ribbon show and the district B&W. Blue Ribbon and District B&W require only an overnight for the cattle. Hired man or his son watch the cows at the county fair. I'll take 4-6 head, because that is what I can manage. I don't bother taking an animal that I don't think has a legitimate shot at being in the top 3 in her class.

    On a dark animal, a little black shoe polish does wonders for patches of ringworm or scrapes. When the Tempo was a senior calf, she had ringworm and we treated it at home and got a note from our veterinarian. We had no problems, but I've seen vets send animals home many times.

    To the adults, keep in mind that even if you are showing open class, showing is probably most important for the 4-H, FFA kids and juniors. When adults start acting crazy, it's a bad example for the future showmen. While judging, I've seen bigger kids and adults try to check/body slam youngsters with their animals and that kind of bush league stuff gets me PO'd. If they're in the 4H/FFA show, I grill them mercilessly in the showmanship class. That's my favorite class to judge, because you get to see which kids know what rations their cattle are fed, who knows the pedigree, whether they can explain how to properly fit the animal. Always make them change animals. Some of these kids are showing cattle that have been professionally fitted and they don't know the first thing about them. I asked one girl what her 5-year old (dry cow) was milking and she said 80 lbs./day and the cow was pregnant 14 months and due in September. :rolleyes:
     
  6. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    See in this area, you gain respect when you show you can do something. We gained a lot of respect from those we have known outside of the fair. At this fair, or atleast town the only way to come back is not to come back the same way. You come back, same person, however show that you were encouraged. It is what I will do next year, and it is why I will bring more animals than this year (pending they look good). In the barn we were in, we knew the super., and one of the people is a neighbor just down the road. So it was a comfortable enviornment. One neighbor at the fair to our right was nice, and chatted with him each day etc. We did have a bad apple, but the way things seemed, the bad apple soured that bunch.


    But I will agree, and what your referring to is sportsmanship. In any book it does say, do not crowd an animal, push against someone else's animal etc. What I mean is, you, yourself. Some animals seem to lean against others, but those who have been in the ring before do not. I have seen people slap their animal in the ring to make it mind, and I cringe at that. There are ways to make it mind, and its called practice. I worked with mine for 3+ months, quite a bit at first, then slowed down later. If they did not mind, I did not slap them. I either tugged on the chain, or halter to be forcefull, but no hitting. I had one heifer this year, she was head strong. She loved to pull down, and it hurt like hell when she did. Well I tied her head up, and when she went to pull down I pulled back. She got to the ring, and she led perfectly. But sportsmanship, and overall professionalism is important. While I was in the ring, I would take a few seconds (when I had a few seconds), to look over other people. Some animals were leading perfectly, and others would need a quick circle. What is interesting is the fact that some people do not understand these guys, and it shows. I had one, out of the ones I brought act up. She stopped, did her stubborn thing. All I did was asked the person behind me to give her a nudge, and it was all that was needed. The way I figure it is, if your rough to that animal, it isn't nice for one thing, but it will only make you look like a fool. The first time I showed was at a B&W club show ( I like those better than fairs). The people whom I bought 4 of my holsteins from take animals to that show. Well the lady's (previous owner) husband who has been doing this for 20+ years watched. I impressed the hell out of him, and gained respect from him. I never showed before, but that whole professionalism is what shows. Never had to slap the heifer (never would), or tug. I had my method, simple ever so slight tug (can't notice it), and she would move. She held her head high etc etc. I do think the animal sences you, and will do what you want it to do, based on who you are.


    But as far as stress, I do think some, yes. But I have one particular heifer, and when it was time to go down to the fair. She practically ran up on that trailer, she knew what was going on, as she was one that went to that B&W show. I wish I could have taken her to other shows, she is a fun animal to lead and so far has done well in the ring (placings). She placed 4th at the fair out of 20, and 7th out of 12 at the B&W show (would have been higher, the judge sucked, not because of that placing, a lot of people weren't happy with him).

    As the guy who trucks my animals around says to other farmers. "Who cares what you have, just take them and show them". I agree, take your animals, have fun, and you never know, you could place well. I took turks, I took her and knew she wouldn't place well. She didn't place all that bad, 12th or 14th out of 30. The reason I took her, is because she is timid, she broke to a halter quick and I wanted another animal for that class. I should have brought Jenel, but it was fun bringing turks down. But this is practice for me, im not serious about this yet. I will watch and learn, loose or maybe win. But while in that ring, I look over people, look over animals, and sharpen my eye. I practice different things, stop and setup the animal when the judge looks. Figure out what works best for me. I think in a couple years ill get serious, but untill then im going to show no matter the outcome. Showing animals is very fun.


    Jeff

    BTW: Cows are creatures of habit, while at the fair after only a couple days. They were so used to going to the trough to drink, I could have untied one, let her go and straight to the water (I didn't, but they knew where it was). After they were done, they would make for their spot. Actually one time, I dropped the halter and she went straight to her spot (no people around of course), but it was very interesting indeed.
     
  7. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    This is the barn we were in, the fair was packed. Every barn had animals (7 of them, 8 if you include the 4H barn).
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    Here is the display we setup, nothing big, but it was unique.
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    Same display, with the animals.
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    This is me with my senior heifer calf "Aquila". Took her as a warm up, again the whole building of experience in the ring and to look over animals :).
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    I am above the ME, the person behind me was leading "Turks", he helps us around the farm, and went to the fair with us.
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    Here is the animals placed. Amnesty got 9th, and Turks looking at this pic received 12th. Interesting with the height, considering Turks was born July 31st, Amnesty July 11th (I beleive). Some of those heifers are June heifers. One other good thing about a fair, gives you an idea how they stack up size wise.
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    Here are the "champs", Billy (kid that helps out) and my mother. The red holstein according to that judge had the best dairy form out of the 18-20 animals in that class, and would have placed 1st if she had more size to her. As a side note anyone who has seen that red holstein comments how good she looks. Here is a heifer, wasn't worth 2000 looking at her. My mother questioned whether she was worth that. Yet she has turned into one heck of a heifer. I hope she has one heck of an udder, then the game is on :). But we did well in that class, 4th-5th-8th. My 8th place heifer is as tall as Speedy, who is almost a month older. Sassy who placed 8th is going to get big. Her legs are big, body is very deep etc. So now I hope for a good udder :).
    [​IMG]
     
  8. evermoor

    evermoor Well-Known Member

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    Again congrats on the good start. Very nice pictures, seems like a good fair with nice cattle. We are leaving for Cattle Congress in the morn, with eleven head. They are trying to revive it, last years there wasn't much there so we cleaned up fairly well. This year I heard there are a lot more animals entered so at least there will be competition. There are few dairy fams in our area and even fewer who bother to show (as the milkstool cowboy stated), so I think it is important to support local events and show city kids what cows are and do. The national Cattle Congress will never regain the popularity, when everyone came in boxcars, but it is close has cash premiums as good as expo, and can serves a function to the community beside being a huge flea market. You should take a little mini vacation to Harrisburg and see some of the big time boys. Keep up the good work.
     
  9. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Wish I could go to the big shows to see whats out there (leaving for more than a day would be impossible now), what the big "dance" is like. Especially the World Dairy Expo, which would be fun to see who brings what from around the country... We are going to take a drive down to check out The Big E. See what is there for animals, see what I should bring, and shouldn't for next year. The big e is fairly close to me, 2hrs and change. I am in the process of looking over venues, seeing what I want to do next year. I know there are 3 events I will go to (pending the animals look good). But I would like to extend to 4 or 5, something to do before the fun ends and milking begins next fall :). As you said, it is good to let the city kids see what cows are like, etc. I would like to see our fair stop the tractor pull, dairy farmers come out on the track in front of a packed audience, with the announcer saying "Salute the farms in Washington County". I am going to pass it by the president of the fair. If they dont do it, you question if they remember why the fair was started. Either way, Good luck! and thanks.


    Jeff
     
  10. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unfortunately, you have to play the game. Just do the best you can and try to learn each time you go. Our granddaughter showed market goats this year, and the printed rules said "NO horns will be allowed. The scurs can not be any larger in diameter than a dime and no longer than an inch". We get there, and some other kids from a different club brought several goats with scurs that were more than an inch long, and about the size of a quarter or half dollar! I discretely asked the barn superintendent what the deal was, telling her I wasn't complaining, just wanted to know, since we had to sell one wether before fair and buy another due to the horn scurs not meeting the requirement. She told me they had bought the goats in Texas, spent quite a bit of money having the vet cut the horns off, etc. They had petitioned the livestock committee and got permission to show those goats. No where in the rules did it say you could do that, but now we know, so if we have a really nice one next year that just doesn't meet the requirements, we will petition. Politics! Jan in Co
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    There is a new movie coming out, its called "The Longest Yard". It does emphasize the whole clique thing. Any event that has had long time players, people who make the rules, run the rules can and will change them at any thime they want. Petition, who knows if there really was a petition? Some of our registered holsteins do not have metal clips in their ears, they have a picture illustrated on the back of the paper. The metal clip is for DHIA, etc. Well this year some of ours do not have metal clips, for next year we are going to make sure we have metal clips. As I am not going through the trouble of working with animals, getting them to lead, only to have the superintendant send them home, over a little clip. I am going to do some investigative work prior, find out from people who do not have clips, who have tattoos to see if they are accepted. So if the super. says, they aren't acceptable I wont take no for an answer, especially if the animal is perm. branded. A tattoo is permanent, tough to switch a tattoo. But this type of stuff is what makes me turn on my competative side. I will be sure to do a job above and beyond last year, bringing animals that aren't mine there etc. Going to double the amount etc. Was looking over the bull calf that we brought, that was sent home. What they called ring worm, was not. Hair is growing in the spot, seemed to be some sort of scratch that was irritated. That bull calf weighs 500lbs, was born 4/26, he would have cleaned up that one class easily. It is why he was sent home, but hey if I have spots like that next go around. I will cover them up with paint etc, so they can't be spotted. I am also going to be watching the USDA inspector like a hawk, they made me aware, not a good thing :).


    Jeff