Harrisburg – Sen. Mike Waugh of York County led a Guernsey heifer, owned by Kelly Johnson of York, to the top of the first-ever VIP Dairy Showmanship Contest at the 2010 Pennsylvania Farm Show on Wednesday, Jan 13.
Organized by the Center for Dairy Excellence and PennAg Industries Association, this contest brought in members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to work with their constituents, leading dairy animals around the Large Arena at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.
John Frey, Center for Dairy Excellence Executive Director, kicked off the event by welcoming the crowd and introducing Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding who reminisced about showing his own animals in the same arena 35 years ago and looked forward to an exciting event.
Chris Herr, executive vice president of PennAg Industries Association also showed his appreciation for the state legislators’ work.
Sen. Elder Vogel, Jr. served as the host for the event. A fourth-generation dairy farmer from Beaver County, Senator Vogel is the only dairy producer in the Senate. He thanked the farmers and the legislators for participating in the event.
Showmanship judges were Jim Burdette, a dairy producer from Franklin County and Kristin Crawford, executive director of the Senate Ag and Rural Affairs Committee.
“Most of these legislators have never been this close to a dairy cow,” said Crawford. “It will be both entertaining and educational.”
Before the contest started, camera crews were present as constituents gave the legislators lessons on showing the animals. Members of the Pennsylvania Dairy Task Force, a group charged with addressing the needs of the dairy industry, were matched with each team to discuss the state of the dairy industry.
While legislators tried their hands at showing a dairy cow and judges deliberated, master of ceremonies, Kirk Sattazahn, provided the audience with some facts about agriculture and the dairy industry.
Before slapping his winner, Judge Burdette said, “the top five showmen closely exemplified what dairy showmen do, but one young man came with fire in his eyes.”
Ten other legislators on the Ag and Rural Affairs Committee participated in the contest. Here they are listed with the dairy producers whose cows they showed:
Rep. Mark Keller, Curtis Reichard, Newport, Perry Co.
Rep. David Millard, Rosie Zaginaylo, Orangeville, Columbia Co.
Rep. Rick Mirabito, Ann Fry, Cogan Station, Lycoming Co.
Rep. Carl Metzgar, Ashley Stoltzfus, Berlin, Somerset Co.
Rep. Tina Pickett, Denise Whiting, Edinburg, Lawrence Co.
Rep. Timothy Solobay, David Randolph, Washington, Washington Co.
Sen. Michael Brubaker, Sharon and Cody Nolan, Kinzer, Lancaster Co.
Sen. John Eichelberger, Bob Stanton, Everett, Bedford Co.
Sen. Lloyd Smucker, Hannah Wentworth, Quarryville, Lancaster Co.
Sen. Gene Yaw, Abbie Kuhlman, Rome, Bradford Co.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 285 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 9-16 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10. Visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us for details.
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