Bovine Beauties

FONDA – They lined up in a row to show their best side at the 173rd annual Fonda Fair on Saturday. Marching along in a circle for the judges, it was only a matter of time before one was picked as number one.

But these weren’t the average beauty queens – they were Holstein cows.

On Saturday, the 4-H Club gave kids a chance to learn how to properly judge dairy cows during a special event that allowed them to get an up-close look at the animals and learn more about how winners are chosen.

During the event, kids were told to look at different parts of each animal, from their legs, to their size and color. The animals were brought out four at a time in different groups, including calfs, Holstein and Jersey cattle.

Participants were able to write down their chosen animals and see how their picks compared with the eventual winner.

4-H community educator Mackenzie Moore said the event is about more than just looking at animals.

“It’s about public speaking and making decisions,” Moore said.

Moore said some of kids did get a little overwhelmed since it was the first time they ever judged animals.

Laura Littrell of St. Johnsville said she enjoyed the event because it allowed her to learn more about what goes into picking out a winner.

“It teaches you more about how to pick cows for showing,” Littrell said.

Littrell is interested in working in agriculture someday and hopes to go to Cornell University to study.

She said that while she did already know some of what it takes to judge, there was a lot she didn’t know about.

“It’ll help me when I want to show in the future,” she said.

Moore said with the large number of dairy farms in the area, 4-H is hoping to make its dairy program bigger. She said she hopes the event grows and they are able to send at least two teams to the State Fair in future years.

Moore said kids interested in 4-H do not need to live on a farm or even own their own animals to be a part of the group.

Kids interested in joining are afforded the opportunity to rent a farm animal and can participate in other events as well.

Moore said to join or for more information on the 4-H Club, call the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Canajoharie at 673-5525.

The Fonda Fair, which began Tuesday, will continue through Labor Day.