Raising a Farmer

Alot of work but always room for laughter

304 “the show cow”

on July 19, 2016

When ever we hear someone describe 304 as Everett’s “Show Cow” Nathan and I mumble under our breathe.  304 is no show cow in dairy judging standards.  By her looks she is the worst cow in the barn but she is the best cow in the barn.  We know 304 is no show cow.  We have even been asked,  “Why do you take her to the fair?”  My cousin one year as he helped us unload the trailer at the fair said as soon as we opened the trailer, “Nate I know you have better cows than that!”

Both Everett and 304 started their showing adventures together.  304 is the very first animal Everett has taken in the ring.  304 was a calf and Everett was 3.  304 on paper has all the genetics but Mother Nature had other plans for her.  When Everett was 4 he showed 304 as a heifer.  We were all excited as we awaited 304’s first calf.  As soon as she calved all and I mean completely all udder support fell apart.  Fair season came around that summer and the discussion of bringing 304 to the fair was brought up.  Nate’s initial reaction was “We can’t take her.”  The fair is a place where your best animals are show cased.  The best of the best is judged.  A place where ribbons and pride of hard work are showed.  By just taking a glance at 304 she doesn’t represent this but when you look closer she represents all of this.  Everett told us as a 5 year old as Nate tried to talk him out of taking 304 to the fair, (Nathan and I hearing that little voice in the back of our head “what will people think?”)  Everett simply replied, “If I can’t take 304 then I won’t go.”  No tears, no tantrum just matter of fact.  Everett is devoted to 304.  Everett loves 304.  Everett represents the heart of dairy farming in his simple words.  No matter what, I will stand by my cows.  No matter what I will put my cows first.

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Everett’s very first time in the show ring at the Morrison County Fair 2012

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Everett & 304 at Morrison County Fair 2013

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Headed to the ring, Everett & 304 Morrison County Fair 2015

Nathan and I talked about what are we trying to teach Everett by taking animals to the fair.  Are we teaching that ribbons are the most important thing or is showmanship?  Are we teaching placing 1st is the most important thing or the hard work getting ready for the fair has merit.  We are teaching dedication and love for your animals comes first.  Everett has both of these for 304.  304 has taught Everett more than what Nathan and I could have taught Everett.  She gives him confidence in the ring, she trusts him, she teaches Everett how to handle a cow in the ring, she teaches Everett.

Last year, Everett was so happy when he was given a red ribbon as he walked out of the ring with 304.  I can still see his big smile, “Mom Look what we got!” Nathan and I just looked at each other but to Everett it was a ribbon.   There will come a time when Purple, Blue and Red ribbons will mean something and not just a ribbon.  There will come a time when tears and disappointments will come out of the fair ring.  There will come a time when all your hard work will feel for not.  There will come a time when Everett himself will become more competitive and look more closely at his cows.  Right now, we are laying the ground work for a strong foundation for when those hard times come.  We are teaching confidence walking into the ring, we are teaching loving on your animals come first and 304 the show cow is teaching us along the way.

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Everett & 304 Summer 2014

 


One response to “304 “the show cow”

  1. These wonderful pictures bring back memories of the Rudolph farm as well as summertime spent at a family friend’s dairy farm in the UP when Dad (Victor Rudolph) worked the MSU forestry course work at Dunbar. Best to you and your family- Margaret J. (Rudolph) Fehrenbach, Seattle, WA

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