4-H dairy show steers children in positive direction
By MONICA BOND
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- Some of the cows walked placidly and some were downright ornery during Friday's Trumbull County Junior Fair dairy show.
Hannah Trumbull, 9, of Cortland is a member of Cows "R" Us 4-H club; she showed her 2-month-old Jersey calf "Cinder" in the novice dairy cow class. This is Hannah's first year showing at the fair.
"My brothers and sister did it and it looked kind of fun so I tried it," she said.
Hannah explained she had to wash her calf, keep her clean and trim the hair to prepare for the show.
"They are judged on how they set up [how they stand] and how you control them and how they look," she said.
Hannah lives with her siblings and parents, Jim and Sherry Trumbull, on their dairy farm, Ja-She Farm, in Cortland.
"We sell the steers, and the dairy cows we take back home," she said.
Dairy cows are milked after they have their first calf, usually when they're 2 years old.
Surrounded by farm life
The Trumbulls have been raising dairy cows for 22 years. They milk 35 of at least 70 cows they have, including heifers, calves and dry cows. They also breed cows on their farm.
"It's a disease -- you can't get away from it," Jim Trumbull said, laughing.
The family became involved with 4-H when Sherry Trumbull was home-schooling the children.
"I thought they needed something outside the home," she said. "4-H gives them interaction with other kids and more responsibility."
The children have made many friends through 4-H, Sherry Trumbull said.
"The show teaches them good showmanship and that they can't always win," she said. "It's their friends, so they feel happy for them winning."
Kenny Wellman of Bristolville is an adviser for Cows "R" Us. He's been with 4-H for 18 years, and began with his daughter's 4-H project.
Wellman has a hobby farm and travels to about five different fairs each summer. He feeds the calves and pigs his extra milk, although some cows are lent to people who use his milk.
"The animals must be registered or an identified breed," he said.
The cows range from calves born this spring to those born in 1997, Wellman said. The competitors are classed according to the children's ages, except for novices, who are first-year members regardless of age.
"Some kids are here for their first year and some have been here three or four years," he said.