This summer started off slowly and full of relaxation. The boys worked tirelesly toward making preparations for the Knox County Fair. The hard work paid off and you can read about the results here and here.
We moved out of the Knox County Fair and had two days to recover and finish final preparations for what we had waited and worked so long for....
The Ohio State Fair!
We have seen the Miniature Hereford breed really grow here in Ohio. For the past 3 years, we have shown in the Ohio Cattlemen's Association BEST program. The first two years we were lumped into the All Other Breeds class. This past season we had the priviledge of having our own class.
Along with talks of getting our own class in the BEST, they also mentioned the possibility of adding a show at The Ohio State Fair. We pursued this option. When we contacted Bill Toms to discuss the possibilities, he was excited because they had been looking to add new breeds to the fair line up. We already have an established show at the Ohio Beef Expo, so this was a great extension here in Ohio.
They asked Daniel to help with establishing the show at the fair and working along side the fair office. Neither Daniel nor I had even been to the Ohio State Fair since elementary....and as city slickers. We certainly weren't there for the animals. But in true fashion, Daniel jumped in with both feet and did his best to make it a great show.
We are in a probationary stage with both The Ohio State Fair and the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association. We had a total of 29 registrations, but ended up with only 21 cows in attendance. We would love to have see all 29 there, but we were pleased with the good outcome for this first year.
If you know anything about Daniel, you know that he is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. He can't stand to miss anything in life.
We pulled into the fairgrounds on Sunday evening. Since this show was new to all of us, he wanted to make sure that all the i's were dotted and t's crossed. He also wanted to lay out the stall assignments before everyone started rolling in.
The crews were still cleaning the barn out, so we weren't actually able to start moving in until about 9:00 p.m. That gave us some time to get our acts together and figure out the lay of the land.
Monday morning started bright and early moving in the cows, giving baths and helping all the other breeders get moved in.
We were stalled in the Voinovich building, directly in front of the main doors, which provided us with tons of spectator traffic.
This show is so different than the Ohio Beef Expo. The Ohio Beef Expo is more for people that already have cows or are looking to buy cows. The Ohio State Fair consists mostly of city people who are just viewing the animals. This was a great opportunity for us to showcase and introduce many people to the Miniature Hereford breed.
We took Annabelle and her two month old calf, Amber, as a cow/calf pair. Cow/calf pairs are a pain! The only reason we really took them was to add to our breed numbers. However, it turned into a really good thing.
Little tiny Amber was a huge attention getter. You can't get much cuter than a 2 month old calf that is smaller than a lot of dogs. I bet there were thousands of pictures taken of her.
We had some extra special guests on Monday morning.
My parent's church was hosting a missionary family on deputation to Papua New Guinea. They were staying at my parent's house for the weekend. Over dinner on Saturday night, Papa was bragging about they boys' accomplishments at the Knox County Fair. Caroline Dion asked what animals they showed. She couldn't believe it when my dad said Miniature Herefords.
Caroline Dion is Rust Largent's granddaughter. Rust Largent is the one who started the Miniature Hereford breed. Roy Largent, Caroline's dad, is the one that sold us our original herd.
Jeremy, Caroline and their two kids were able to stop by and visit with us before they had to head home to Indiana. Caroline has been away from the ranch for 11 years, and I think she was really surprised at how much the breed has grown and the opportunities that we now have.
Caroline was able to meet several of the other breeders. She told us stories of the struggles of showing when she was growing up.
Little Isabelle (above) has only been out to the family ranch one time in her two years. I am sure that her grandparents and aunts and uncles will love these pictures.
It was such a joy to meet the Dion family and trade stories and experiences. What a small world!
Monday evening we had a junior show. Since we are not yet a sanctioned show, this was very informal. They chose a judge from the Ohio State Fair staff. We had 11 junior participants that either showed their own cow or borrowed a cow in order to participate.
It was just a fun and relaxed show with no fitting required.
It was a great opportunity for the kids to get more experience and for the cows to get in some ring time in preparation for the open show on Tuesday.
Since this is a probationary show, all of the prizes and awards for winners were provided by the generous support of our sponsors. Our sponsors made it possible to provide the prize buckets for junior participants, and the buckles and premiums for the open show winners.
You can see by their smiles that they all had a great time.
Thank you sponsors!
Abby Pitstick was the Grand Champion winner of the junior show.
Walker won Reserve Grand Champion with Rain in the junior show.
The Grand and Reserve winners also received a gallon of Show Coat provided by Wilson Farms, and a show stick.
Tuesday morning was the open show with all 21 cows participating.
Amber even got some fitting time. Isn't she a wild thing?
Walker got second in the Senior Heifer class with Rain.
Because there were only 21 total cows, many of the classes were small. However, the Spring Senior Heifer class had 9 entries and was a stacked class.
The judge placed the cows in order from 1st place to 9th place. He had Isaac in 3rd place. We knew we were done.
However, the judge had them all walk around the ring one more time. It was then that he noticed the cow he had placed in second had some issues with walking. He switched second and third place.
There is that smile.
Rumor, our 4 month old bull calf, was a single entry in the Junior Bull Calf class.
He then went on to win 4th overall bull.
Annabelle and Amber were a single entry in the cow/calf pair class, but went on to win 4th overall female.
The judge really liked Annabelle's udder. She is on the thin side, but as the judge mentioned, it is because she is putting all of her energy into her calf. That's what a good mom does.
Abby Pitstick once again won Grand Champion Female.
Isaac won Reserve Grand Champion with Six.
It was a good thing....he had been drouling over those belt buckles sitting on our dining room table for weeks.
The boys were happy to have both grandma's cheering them on in the stands.
See, I do handle the cows when I have to.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the rest of the Ohio State Fair. We joined up with the other grandma to see the lumber jack show and ride some rides.
We loaded the cows and headed home about 7:00 p.m.
I told you we were always the last to leave.
Another year of showing in the books. The cows are out to pasture and we all get a much needed break...until November.
It was a great first Miniature Hereford show at the Ohio State Fair. We want to thank the staff of the Ohio State Fair for all their work on this show and all the cattle shows. They are so good to work with and made it a great experience for everyone.
Thank you to all the exhibitors who participated in this years' show. The people are what makes it so enjoyable. The competition was steep, but the friendships are remarkable.
I know that this show will only continue to grow and we look forward to an even bigger year next year.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.