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Jersey show held in Owatonna

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 07/08/2013 2:45 PM

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OWATONNA, Minn. — Jersey breeders gathered in Owatonna last week for the Midwest Jersey Jamboree and Minnesota State Junior Jersey Show.

There were 107 Jerseys registered, said Brad Rugg, who stalled the Jerseys, Red and White Holsteins and black and white Holsteins at the Steele County fairgrounds. A total of 63 Red and White Holsteins were registered and were shown earlier in the day on June 19.

The Jersey show started promptly at 3 p.m. June 19 with the novice showmanship class. Four-year-old Abigail Skiba of North Branch walked into the ring with Star, her April calf. Her mother, Jennifer, followed, sometimes helping to push the calf along and other times photographing Abigail and Star in the show ring.

Skiba walked the calf around and talked with judge David Sprengler of Plato. She earned a ribbon and new halter for her efforts, which she proudly showed her father.

Steele County Dairy Princess Kendra Schroeder of Owatonna was the "ribbon lady" at the Red and White, Jersey and Holstein shows.

"I love doing stuff like this," Schroeder said.

She shows at the county fair, and the state fair if she earns a trip, but she'd never shown at a big show like the Jersey Show. She plans to show a Holstein cow and crossbred calf at the Steele County Free Fair in August.

After a quick break, it was back to work to hand out ribbons in the next class.

Several members of the Fernholz family attended. Mark and his brother, Pete, came to the Jersey show with their six children and 10 Jerseys.

They milk 300 Jerseys near Kensington. The Jersey show is a fun family event, Mark said. It's a chance for the kids to get to know other kids who show Jerseys. He and his brother showed when they were in 4-H and returned to showing when their children got old enough.

Mark's three children are Kylee, 17, Caden, 14, and Brynn, 10. Pete's are Tatum, 15, Riley, 11, and Gavryn, 81/2.

Mark said they would do alright in the show ring, but not tear it up by any means. Sometimes they do well, sometimes not, he said.

The families share a good time, but it does turn serious before the classes begin, Mark said.

They planned to drive the three and a half hours home after the show concluded; it was time to get back to making hay.

Aside from their home-raised Jerseys, they had another cow in the ring, a more elite cow Mark purchased this spring. The cow lives with Steve and Deb Heuer of Litchfield, who provides care for show cows. The four-year-old has been shown twice at World Dairy Expo, placing fifth as a two-year-old and 11th as a three-year-old.

Mark hopes to flush the four-year-old for embryos. She has a nice pedigree, he said.

On the other side of the aisle, the Vinkemeier siblings were reclining after being in the ring for showmanship.

Carley Vinkemeier, 16, won senior showmanship by a hair. She's been showing since sixth grade.

"It's something enjoyable that gets my mind off other things," Vinkemeier said.

The Vinkemeier family milks about 90 cows near Norwood Young America at their Seven C Dairy. Their herd includes registered Guernseys, Jerseys, Milking Shorthorns and Brown Swiss. They also have grade Red and White Holsteins and black and white Holsteins and crossbreds.

Carley and three of her five siblings participated in the Jersey show.