New Years may almost be here, but Farm Show is quickly taking over my daily “to do” list. Getting livestock ready for the Farm Show is something of an art form. Everything you normally do to take the string to a summer time fair is thrown out the window.
This year, the family and I are Farm Show-bound with my Guernsey Lindsay and Holstein Twilight. And to take a look at my girls - fuzzy, carefree and out and about with their heifer group - it’s hard to imagine them ready for the show ring in a couple weeks.
Getting ready to take a string to the show is an adventure. As the family prepares, I have to confess the challenge is what makes showing at Farm Show strangely fun.
The cow signs have to be made, the farm display found and inventory taken of the showbox around the post-Christmas events. We also have to pack in the other “glamour” items such as baby powder, shampoos, shoe polish, paper towels, brushes, hair drier, and combs. Show halters need to be double-checked, rope halters accounted for and feed tubs gathered. And, unlike summer fairs, we don’t begin fitting for show until we arrive at Harrisburg. So, it’s like extreme cow makeover –Farm Show edition as the cows lose their fuzzy coats turning into primped, trimmed and shined heifers for the ring.
The run-up to preparing for the show is madness as we run a coordinated effort between the two farms in Lancaster and Wyoming Counties. Phone calls start with the question “do you have the….” And end with “don’t forget to look for the…”
However, by the time the dairy show rolls around, the work will be well worth it as the family will head to the showring with our heifers fitted, shined, prepped and groomed -ready to see how we will stack up against the competition.
- Charlene Shupp Espenshade, Special Sections Editor