“Show Like a Pro V” Dairy Workshop

Written by Suzan Eaves Thompson, co-chair 301-845-8139 / cell 301-471-7872

“Show Like A Pro V” Dairy Workshop, an activity of the Frederick County 4-H Dairy Advisory Committee, was held June 8-9, 2013. The overnight interstate workshop brought 39 4-H members from MD, PA, NJ and VA along with their show animals and parents to the barns and show ring of the Great Frederick Fair. The workshop was designed to cover skills and knowledge needed to optimally care for, prepare and present a dairy animal.

From the moment registration began at 12:30 PM on Saturday the event followed the same requirements and pace of a dairy show. Animals and their papers were inspected for proper ID and health before being allowed to unload. They were then hustled to the wash rack where workshop personnel checked to ensure that each participant knew how to safely tie their animal. “Tried & True Washing Techniques”were discussed, demonstrated then performed and the animals checked for cleanliness. Next the attendees were taught how to make a bedded pack and keep the animal clean for the duration of the show. Shavings for the pack were donated by Thurmont Feed Store and Mt. Airy Southern States Coop. Straw was donated by Denny Lenhart and Jody Bell. After the long trailer trip and bath the animals immediately sank down into their thick bedding to nap while their owners undertook the next topic. Dr. Brooke Hoffman Ridinger, DVM gave a talk “Animal Health and Biosecurity” focused on before and during the fair. Next Michelle Parmiter discussed ”Feeding A Show Heifer”. Participants were taught about the nutritive needs and comparative feeds. Feeds for comparison were donated by Frederick Southern States, Midge at Woodsboro Southern States, Walkersville Feed Store, Farmer’s Coop, North Glade and Blue Seal. The use and mixing of beet pulp came next with the pulp donated by Taneytown Farm & Home. The animals then enjoyed their evening meal while the participants finally had a chance to sit briefly for a talk about the contents of the show box and other needed items for the care of the animal. They didn’t sit long as part of the discussion was an interactive game where the participant was handed an item and had to decide what it was used for. The show box products and other items were furnished by Ceresville New Holland/Sheepman Supply who also brought a display with a full supply of discounted show items and products.

Finally the humans got their dinner but soon after it was time to hurry again…the participants were split into 2 groups based on their past experience. One group worked in the ring with “Basic Show Ring Protocol & Practice” led by Cindy Rhoderick while the more experienced body clipped their animals. At 9 PM all entered the show ring for a snack and discussion that centered around exhibitor responsibilities, safety and providing a positive image of the dairy industry. At 10 PM it was time for another check of the animals followed by lights out.

At 5 AM the wake up call came and 4-H members emerged from the barns with animals in tow heading to the wash rack. A bedraggled group of parents was seen moving a little behind them. The animals were washed, put in clean stalls and feed before breakfast at 6 AM. Thankfully coffee was supplied for the adults.

The professional fitters arrived and worked with 2 groups. One group received a talk and demo about body clipping, then clipped their own animal with the fitters giving encouragement and suggestions. The more experienced group having already clipped their animals the night before, were given a talk and demo about advanced clipping techniques including toplines, and blending belly and shoulder hair to improve the appearance. Fitters who gave of their time and talents were Darrin Sentelle, Curtis Rhoderick, Jason Zimmerman, Ashley Martin, Greg Burdette and Josh & Jon Sanders.

At 9:30 AM clipping ended and the team of Justin and Claire Burdette were introduced. The Burdette’s of Windy-Knoll-View Farm, Mercersburg PA have produced and exhibited a number of highly acclaimed All-American dairy cattle. Both excel in the show ring, with Justin also being a certified national judge who will be judging the Holstein Show at the WDE in Madison this fall. The Burdette’s worked with the participants by first bringing out several animals and demonstrating the techniques that would make the animal look it’s best by minimizing conformational challenges. After this the participants were divided into 4 groups and taken into the ring for the Burdette’s to observe and make suggestions for improvement.

At 11 AM the animals were returned to the barn for a rest while the humans had lunch. Lunch was gulped down or dispensed with due to nerves because it was time for final preparations of the animal and for the exhibitors to don their show whites…the final event of the workshop was the 5th Annual Workshop Showmanship and Fitting Competitions.

There were 2 divisions of the Showmanship Contest, Novice and Experienced. Showmanship was solely judged on the ability of the exhibitor to move & display the animal in the ring as they had been taught. The novice division consisted of 3 classes of 5 participants each. Novice class winners were Madilyn Gooding (MD), Cassandra Blickley (MD) and Bradley Richman (NJ). Showmanship Novice Overall Champion was Cassandra Blickley, Novice Reserve Champion, Bradley Richman. There were 4 classes in the Experienced Division with 4-6 participants in each. Class winners were Joseph Hubbard (MD), Charlie Buckmeier (MD), Jonathan Hubbard (MD) and Ryan Zimmerman (MD). Showmanship Overall Champion was Ryan Zimmerman with Joseph Hubbard Reserve Champion. The Showmanship awards were sponsored by Mid-Atlantic farm Credit.

The final event was the Top Fitters competition. Those who undertook the advanced clipping techniques entered the ring. Judge Burdette evaluated the 8 contestants animals and chose 4 as the Top Fitters. The 4 Top Fitters were Robert Hahn, Jonathan Hubbard, Cory Zimmerman and Ryan Zimmerman. The Fitting awards were sponsored by Purina Feeds and Hemp’s Clipper Sales/Service.

The Workshop Committee also thanks other agri-businesses who made it possible for each participant to receive a nice prize along with a rope halter. Additional donors to those mentioned above include TSC, MD Farm Care, Thomas family, HC Summers, Weaver Leather, the Strite family & Zimmerman family. The Burdette’s presented each 4-H member with a copy of the Holstein Association book “Show Ring Ready.” Time, willingness to share knowledge and skill, and the generosity of the dairy industry and associated professions continue to serve as encouragement and support towards youth truly interested in dairy animals. Many other individuals worked to help in any number of ways, before, during and after to conclude another successful event.

Scenes from the event:
First stop – the wash rack with instructions by Michelle Parmiter and demonstration by Danielle Anderson

Katie Albaugh works with Joseph Hubbard on proper halter fit

Fitters Curtis Rhoderick and Greg Burdette provide instruction on body clipping dairy animals

Jamie Savage carefully clips his animal’s face

Bryce Zimmerman blending shoulder and topline of animal

Claire Burdette helps Kaitlyn Blank position and move her animal

Final practice before the show

Overall Showmanship Novice Division Champion Cassandra Blickley and Reserve Champion Bradley Richmond

Overall Showmanship Experienced Division Reserve Champion Joseph Hubbard and Champion Ryan Zimmerman

champs and fitting champs
Line up of champions: Cassandra Blickley (Novice Showmanship), Cory Zimmerman (Top Fitter), Robert Hahn (Top Fitter), Ryan Zimmerman (Experienced Showmanship and Top Fitter) and Jonathan Hubbard (Top Fitter) and Judge Justin Burdette

Group Photo 2013 “Show Like A Pro V” Dairy workshop.

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