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Mashek shows champion and reserve champion in Youth Brown Swiss Show

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 08/30/2013 12:58 PM

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CALMAR, Iowa — Tanner Mashek loves to show his Brown Swiss.

He brought five heifers and three cows to show at the Iowa State Fair.

In the Brown Swiss Youth Show, the six animals he showed placed first or second. His March calf, Tina, was reserve junior champion. His two milk cows, Chiquita and Jenna, were grand and reserve champion Brown Swiss.

In the Brown Swiss Open Show, one of his heifers and one of his cows placed first in their classes, and the others did well. Tulip was first place senior yearling and Chiquita was first place four-year-old.

"I was very pleased," Mashek said. "There's tough competition and very good cattle here."

The 19-year-old son of Dennis and Barb Mashek, of Hilltop Acres Farm at Calmar, graduated from South Winneshiek High school this spring. He will attend Northeast Iowa Community College this fall to study agricultural business and dairy science.

Mashek has shown cattle in 4-H for nine years. He is a member of the Co-Champions 4-H Club and the Winneshiek County 4-H Dairy Club. He is also involved in FFA. He was chapter treasurer and president. He received his Iowa FFA Degree and is working on his American FFA Degree. His SAE is Brown Swiss cattle.

Mashek owns 50 Brown Swiss.

After he finishes at NICC, he has an internship lined up with Swiss Genetics, an AI company in Switzerland. He visited Switzerland once about four years ago. After he completes his internship, he'll farm with his parents.

"I'll be on the seventh generation at Hilltop Acres, and we've all had Brown Swiss," Mashek said.

He helps out wherever he can, but his specialty is working with the milk cows — breeding, treating, vaccinating and milking.

"I do everything that a herdsman would do," Mashek said. "I learned to breed cattle three years ago, and I'm pretty good at that."

Mashek received a $1,000 scholarship from the National Brown Swiss Association, and he has won production awards from the association.

"Brown Swiss is what I grew up with my whole life," Mashek said. "They're an animal that I'd never give up."

Mashek wants good udders and good feet and legs in his cattle.

"We have a lot of animals on our farm that have high genetics, and we do a lot of embryo transfer and in-vitro fertilization working with the Postville Veterinary Clinic," he said.

What he likes best about coming to the Iowa State Fair is working with his cattle. A lot of people ask him questions about his cattle while he's at the fair.

"I like that," he said.