What’s it Mean to “Show” a Cow?
Lacey Papageorge has been showing dairy cattle for as long as she can remember. We caught up with her after this week’s show in Richmond, UT to ask her a few questions…
How long have you been involved showing cows?
I have shown since I was old enough for my dad to carry me in his arms while I held on to the end of the rope halter. Before I was old enough to be in 4-H, I used to show in the kiddy classes. I joined 4-H when I was 8 years old and have been really showing ever since.
What does it actually take to get a cow ready to be shown?
It takes a lot of preparation to get a cow ready! After a long winter, it takes a few good long baths with lots of soap. Once she is all clean, I have to clip my cow so she doesn’t look like a wooly mammoth! We make sure the show heifers (girl cows who haven’t yet had a calf) get exercise and are eating healthy. We also have to practice showing them so that they know what to do.
How is she judged (on what criteria?)
Cows are judged on their physical features. Dairy cows aren’t supposed to have much fat on them. When a cow is lean and healthy, it means that she is putting excess nutrients into producing high quality milk. They are also judged very strongly on their udders. Udders have to be able to hold the milk, and be the right size and shape for the cows age to ensure easier milking
How did your cow do in the Western National Show?
At the Western National Show in Richmond, Utah my cow, Texie, was selected as the Intermediate Reserve Champion Cow in the junior show. We also won the Jr. Champion Bred and Owned award becuase Texie was bred on our family dairy farm, and I own her mother, ‘Texas’…therefore I own her.
What makes a good show cow?
A good show cow needs good parents of course – good cow genes always help.
And Lacey’s family is in the business of producing cows with good genes. Lacey’s grandfather Harry and her father, Ted, have always ben interested in developing better animals, and last year they were recognized with the best heifer in North America.