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2023 Dairy Festival Milking Contest Results

Despite a delayed start of over an hour — the Junior Dairy Show ran over, the 2023 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 2023 Dairy Festival Milking Contest featured all of the 2023 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, 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 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, Dave & Jennifer Graves received the first place trophy. Second place honors went to Mario Villarino and Leah Larsen, parents of pageant contestant Alexis Villarino. Taking third place were Chris & Lezley Brown, parents of contestant Kelley Brown.

Among contestants, Tomi Pirtle received the first place trophy. Logan McCain received the second place trophy. Finally, the third place trophy went to Dairy Festival Pageant contestant Caroline Prickette.

Author: Ross LaBenske

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