The Barren County Fair saw some new and old competitors in Wednesday’s dairy cattle showmanship competition.
Unlike many events at the fair, showmanship is about those leading the animals instead of the animals themselves.
“This is all about the exhibitor exhibiting their skill in showing the animal,” said Chris Schalk, agriculture teacher at Barren County High School and assistant for the judging. “They have to display the animals good attributes and try to hide the bad attributes.”
While it is based on the judge’s opinion, one good thing about the competition is the input from the judges after the decision is made.
“If you get second place they tell you exactly why the first place was better,” said Haley Fisher, 17, of Glasgow.
Fisher has competed for eight years and took the prize for senior 4H showmanship at this year’s competition. She knows what goes into showing a cow and what the judges are looking for during judging.
“It’s like having a kid,” she said. “It all starts at home with clipping and washing. Then the judges are looking for profiles and depth of body and if you can cover the flaws of the animal, that kind of thing.”
For Cade and Colton Huffman, the competitions are just starting. At 2-years-old, Cade is showing for the first time, a calf he named Chocolate Chip.
For first-timer Alex Wood, showing his two calves, one named New Jersey and one unnamed, his mind is all on the cows.
“Cows are more important in my world than anything,” said Wood, 10. His brother, T.J., 11, shows as well, and their father Jamie has shown for years, making it a full family affair.
Fisher has family who showed their animals before she did, with her mom still showing when Fisher was a small child.
“I just really enjoy it, especially all the people,” she said. “It’s a family thing and my favorite week of the year is state fair week so it’s a lot of fun.”