Despite a delayed start of about an hour — the Junior Dairy Show ran over, the 2022 Hopkins County Dairy Festival Milking Contest Saturday progressed almost as smooth at butter, with only a few “surprises” — but certainly not enough to completely sour the fun.
The 2022 Dairy Festival Milking Contest featured all of the 2022 pageant contestants, each assigned a cow to milk. Six heifers were used, with girls assigned numbers 1-6, which determined whether they were in the first or second round of competition. Each round was timed. Each contestant did her best to squeeze as much milk from her assigned cow into a pail as possible before time was called.
Then, each contestant turned in her milk pail, which was weighed. After all milk was accounted the pails and pails emptied, the girls’ parents then together tried their luck at milking. The contestants’ parents too were charged with filling the pail with as much milk as possible before time was called.
While those tallies were being figured to determine which contestants and parents went home with trophies, 10 hot air balloon pilots then tried their hands at milking too, in keeping with what has become a competitive tradition. They competed only for the experience, fun and bragging rights.
When dealing with large animals such as cows, there are always a few surprises. In this instance, a few heifers appeared to be tender before all six rounds of competition, others tired from being at the show all day.
One step taken to encourage the milk cows to remain standing in place during the duration of the contest is to delay feeding them until right before the contest begins. That way they are hungry and too busy eating to focus on being milked by strangers in an arena and half a stadium full of people and cows. A few cows had apparently consumed just enough food and fluids to suddenly make unpleasant “prizes” those milking them had to dodge to avoid wearing. A couple of heifers were also a bit contrary, perhaps even a bit nervous from so much attention and noise, and tried to pull away from trying to milk them. A few contestants’ milking pails were tipped over, spilling the freshly squeezed milk onto the Arena ground, forcing the competitors to start over.
Trophies were presented to the three contestants and parents teams who were able to get the most milk in their pails.
Among the parent participants, Erika and Enriquez and Edgar Velasquez received the first place trophy for filling Vanessa Wayne’s milk pail with 60.5 ounces of milk. Second place honors went to Juan and Cristin Yanez, parents of pageant contestant Jocelyne Yanez, whose milk weighed 58.8 ounces. Taking third place with 52.7 ounces of milk were Stan and Brandy Fisher, parents of contestant Miley Fisher.
Among contestants, Brooklynn Shackelford received the first place trophy for having 49.5 ounces of milk in her pail. Olivia Worth received the second place trophy for having 49.1 ounces of milk. Finally, the third place trophy went to Dairy Festival Pageant contestant Jocelyne Yanez, who had 46.6 ounces of milk.