by Kenni Bores, Ag Correspondent – Twenty-seven local Wood County 4-H, FFA, and Wisconsin Junior Holstein Association members spent the past week at the Wisconsin State Fair exhibiting dairy cattle at one of the largest junior dairy shows in the nation. The group left on July 31 to head down to West Allis where they would spend the next five days showing dairy cattle and promoting the dairy industry.
The group spends all summer preparing for the state fair, hosting brat fries to raise money, making decorations, and working their animals every day. This success shows once they arrive at the state fair. Almost half of the exhibitors made it into the second round of showmanship, which is when the exhibitor and animal are judged on how well they work together in the ring. Aaliyah Borchert of Auburndale topped her age division for the third year in a row, beating over 80 other exhibitors to capture first place 14-year-old.
The Wood County dairy group had one of the largest groups at the Wisconsin State Fair junior dairy show, with a total of 39 animals between the exhibitors. The youth worked together all week helping keeping the animals and exhibit clean, dedicating themselves to herdsmanship, which is a contest between the counties that is scored based on cleanliness of the display, decorations, and friendliness of the exhibitors.
Jerry Lang and Susan Miller chaperone the group and dedicate just as much time as the exhibitors. They spend the week at the fair with the youth, organize the brat fries, order hay, straw, and shavings, find sponsors, and make sure that the entire week goes smoothly.
Lang has been chaperoning the group for 37 years and does it for the kids. “I want the youth to get involved, learn responsibility, and hopefully I can teach them something relating to their future because these kids are our future.”
If you ask anyone that goes with Wood County or has gone in the past, they will all answer the same thing as to what is their favorite part of the week; it isn’t the showing, winning, or early mornings on the wash rack, but Saturday night. Every year, the group is treated to a pizza party and a ride down the giant slide to celebrate the end of a fun, successful week.