Harrisburg - Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and his "Milk Shakers" team of Senator Lloyd Smucker, Representative Sue Helm, WGAL Reporter Matt Barcaro and Pennsylvania Dairy Princess Marissa Weidensaul, took an easy victory in the Celebrity Cow Milking Contest, held Friday, Jan. 14, at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
"The number one strategy is to pick a good cow," said team member Smucker.
The eight-year-old Brown Swiss cow, Windy Springs Cowboy Salida, owned by Kenny Stanton of Everett, Bedford County, gave the Milk Shakers 4.5 pounds of milk, more than two pounds ahead of the competitors.
"The owner gave us good pointers," said Smucker. "I learned to squeeze, pause and let it fill back up, and then squeeze again, but it took me 10 seconds to figure that out."
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Doug Kilgore's team, "PA's Preferred," took second place in the contest with 2.1 pounds of milk. Department of General Services Secretary Liz O'Reilly, WITF's Tim Lambert, FOX43 reporter Melanie Gardner and CBS21 reporter Ben Russell joined Kilgore to milk a Holstein cow from Delaware Valley College.
In a close third place with two pounds was the "Going Guernsey" team, coached by team captain Deputy Agriculture Secretary Mike Pechart. Team members Senator Mike Waugh, ABC27 news anchor Valerie Pritchett, Pennsylvania Cable Network reporter Kat Prickett and former New England Patriot football player Todd Rucci milked a Guernsey cow owned by Snider Homestead Farm of New Enterprise, Bedford County.
Finally, with good effort, the "Supreme Milkers," led by Pennsylvania FFA President Kerri Wickard took fourth place with a mere seven tenths of a pound of milk. With a Jersey owned by Spatz Cattle Company, Wickard's team included Representative Mark Keller, Representative Fred Keller, CBS21 reporter Erica Moffitt and Miss Pennsylvania Teenager 2011 American Dream Katye Trexler.
Agriculture Department's regional Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards supervisor, John Dillabaugh, meticulously calibrated the scales and weighed each team's milk.
Each member of the winning team received a gift basket of PA Preferred products, while every participant received a "Fuel up with Dairy" pencil from the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.
For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
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For photos of the event, click here.