MOUNT VERNON — Top honors at the Dairy Show at the Knox County Fair went to Robin Alden and Sierra Wilson. Alden came away with the Supreme Senior Champion award for her 6-year-old Holstein.
Wilson won the Supreme Junior Champion award for her Brown Swiss intermediate heifer calf.
What does it take to raise a champion cow?
“It takes a lot of hard work,” Wilson said. “It takes working with them every day and a knowledge of genetics to breed them right. This one is 6 years old and I think I’ve shown her every year of her life.”
The dairy show is judged in two categories, junior classes and senior classes, based on the age of the cow. Junior classes are calves and heifers. Senior classes are cows aged 2 years and older. A champion for each breed competes for Supreme Champion in each class.
Jill Lokai was judge for the Dairy Show. Lokai, who now lives in Saint Paris, is no stranger to the Knox County Fair.
“I grew up in Knox County and went through the 4-H program. I showed at the fair for many years,” she said. “It’s nice to be back.”
Lokai explained some of the things she looks for when judging dairy cows.
“Each breed is a little different within itself,” she said. “But certainly with the cows you want to look for a cow that is a tall, straight kind of a cow, but also a cow that has a great udder. That’s the most important thing. When they are out here for Supreme Champion you want to look at the cow that is the best for her age, for her breed. You want to consider each breed separately, so it can be a complicated issue. But there were nice cows here.”
Lokai said the same criteria are applied to the calves and heifers except for the udders.
The showmanship competition preceeded the dairy show; it was also judged by Lokai.
A complete list of Junior Fair winners will appear in the results tab in the Aug. 5 edition of the News.