Dairy Carousel brings thousands of cows and people from near and far
© Amy Lipman, NCC News
By Juliana Pignataro SYRACUSE (NCC NEWS) – More than 500 people from around the country competed in shows this weekend at the New York State Dairy Carousel, the largest dairy show in the nation.
The Carousel was held at the State Fair Exhibit Center in Syracuse where cows were shown, judged and sold. More than 1,000 animals were at the event, representing all seven of the major dairy cow breeds.
For 14-year old Blake Crothers of Pitcher, New York, dairy shows have always been a family affair. Crothers grew up with a dairy farmer for a father and has been showing cows since she was six. Crothers had been preparing her cow, Tootsie, for the junior competition for months in advance.
“You have to clip them so their hair isn’t all fuzzy. You have to clean their ears, you have to get them out daily, you have to get them used to being tied up. You have to get their vaccinations, you have to get their blood tests, you have to get them registered, you have to do almost everything,” Crothers said.
The competitions are about more than just winning for the experienced young girl. Crothers’ mother said the commitment involved in owning and showing cows teaches her daughter responsibility.
“It’s a lot of discipline because it’s seven days a week. They have to walk their animals around ball practice, around school schedules. They get up early in the morning to come out to the barn and take care of their animals before they go to school,” she said.
Cows are judged based on certain physical characteristics including how straight their back and shoulders are.
Crothers didn’t win the junior competition at the fair, but she says she will never give up, and advises other young people who want to show cows to do the same.
“You just keep trying because you will get better,” said Crothers. “It never stops.”
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