Reigning Dairy Festival Queen, Lindsey McCormack, shows this year's contestants how to milk a cow and "get some in the bucket" to
begin Saturday afternoon's annual Milking Contest.
"Beauties Meet the Beasts"
At Saturday's Annual Milking Contest
by: Bobby McDonald
"Pretty Maids......all in a row!!!"
Several of us sat beneath the shade trees, on Saturday afternoon, and attempted to "piece together" for certain what year it was the that the Dairy Festival Milking Contest was born. After much discussion, we decided that it was 30 years ago, when several of us felt that one way to spotlight the dairy industry was to have a milking contest for Dairy Festival candidates on the downtown square, in Sulphur Springs. We called fellow dairymen to bring some cows, brought hay and spread it on the bricks, brought our shovels, feed for the cows, and out "marched" the candidates to begin what would evolve into what we know today. The contest was conducted on the downtown square for approximately the first 10 years of the event!
Well, Saturday's event brought back a number of memories, and even a former contestestant, as Eydie McDowell Ginn, former Dairy Festival Queen, was involved in one of those very first contests, and this year she was part of a husband and wife team, milking in the Parent's Milking Contest.
Most of us were thankful that the contest had been moved to the Civic Center grounds, on Saturday, at 3:00, as it was much more comfortable, beneath the shade trees! Local dairy farmer and Farm Bureau leader, "The Wonderful" Don Smith, served as Saturday's Master of Ceremonies, and he remembered the first event on the square.
Master of Ceremonies, Dairyman Don Smith
Dairy Festival Queen, Lindsey McCormack, started the activities with the official, Queen's Milking, and things were ready for this year's contest.
At the official "cow bell" the contest was on! Five young ladies milked their "beast" and then, the four remaining contestants worked on getting their bucket full!
With some "kicked over" buckets, some "spilled milk," and a little bit of cow manure, the candidates were ready to weigh the product of their toil!
The contest has entered the "technological age" with digital scales, to weigh the milk!
And the winners were......
1st place, Morgan Vaughn, 28.3 ounces
2nd place, Molly Millsap, 27.9 ounces
3rd place, Lexi McCaig, 26.4 ounces
And, once the cows were given a "little break," it was time for all those parents, who had been standing on the sidelines giving all of that "helpful" advice, to enter the ring and milk the very same cow that their daughter had milked in the contest! Were they giving sound advice?
And the winners were......
1st place, John & Eydie Ginn
2nd place, Monty & Vanessa Tipps
3rd place, Carrolin Rogers' team
We definitely learned some interesting facts, during the parent's portion of the milking contest.....first, I guess it's kind of like riding a bike, once you learn how to milk a cow it sticks with your for life.....as former Dairy Festival Queen, Eydie McDowell Ginn, managed to "out milk the rest!" And, we also learned that it's not an inherited trait, as Morgan Vaughn won the candidates' contest and let's just say that "Robbin and Bryan didn't have much milk in their bucket!
Following the contest, the most sought after individuals, of course, were the winners....John and Eydie Ginn....so we could learn the technique that they used! "It's simple!" stated John. "You get to know your cow and you whisper in her ear! I whispered to her and told her she better let my wife win, or I would hear about it for the rest of my life! And, it worked!"
"I kind of had a 'grudge match' going," revealed the soft spoken, Eydie. "You see, when I was a contestant my cow kicked over the bucket and I only got second place. Deep down, I knew I could win this thing, so I told John to hold the bucket, and I'd do the rest!"
Eydie McDowell Ginn is congratulated on her win by Lynda Hager, who could remember Eydie milking
her cow, when she sought the Dairy Festival crown!
Five teams of the Balloon Pilots then conducted their own milking contest. We'll report that results in another article when the winners were announced. But, they had quite a time milking cows and were ready to go back home and "tell the world" what they'd done over the weekend!
Thanks to Kris Koon & Family of Koon Jersey Farm
For Furnishing the Cows!!!!