Annual cattle show held at the Mower County Fairgrounds
Published 10:23 am Friday, June 19, 2015
The cows come home
Walking into a building at the Mower County Fairgrounds, people were greeted with many moos on Thursday afternoon during the Northern Regional Simmental Junior Cattle Show.
Baleigh Peterson was one of more than 177 participants at show, which started Tuesday and was set to end Friday. She’s showed cattle for about six years with her family.
“To gain experience, and I love showing cattle,” she said.
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The participants came from 11 states to compete in cattle shows and leadership contests at the fairgrounds. The event is the largest regional event in the American Simmental Association’s history with about 312 Simmental cattle competing.
Baleigh, 12, of Gibbon, Minnesota, was with her parents and two brothers showing cattle. Her mother Marilee Peterson called it the family “show-cation.” Baleigh also competed in the public speaking contest Thursday.
Marilee explained the family has a hobby farm with about 12 head of cattle.
“The whole purpose of it is so that the kids learn the work ethic and get to experience this,” she said. “That there’s more value than just ‘Oh, what a nice cow’ or just getting the ribbon.”
Baleigh said the contests have taught her a lot over the years, including how to control the animal as well as her own emotions during a contest, responsibility, fitting a cow to be ready for the show, and even teamwork. She advised others to have fun with the contests while taking an opportunity to learn.
The event featured a variety of contests, including livestock judging, a cattleman’s quiz, a sales talk and various speeches. The event’s aim was to test contestants’ beef knowledge and help develop communication skills.
For 17-year-old Leslie Walker from Danvers, Illinois, showing cattle has been a part of her family since she was about a month old.
“We just always do it, and we usually do pretty well, so we just come up and have fun,” she said.
Leslie received third place in her class on Thursday, and she had one more cow to show.
The event ended with an awards banquet at 2 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn in Austin.