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World Dairy Expo is Mashek's favorite show

By Jean Caspers-Simmet
simmet@agrinews.com

Date Modified: 10/25/2013 12:57 PM

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MADISON, Wis. — World Dairy Expo is Tanner Mashek's favorite show. He's been on the shavings every year since he started 4-H when he was nine.

"You always meet new people from the United States and from other countries," Mashek said. "I've talked to people from Ireland, Mexico, Switzerland and Italy."

Mashek, 19, brought two Brown Swiss heifers and two cows from his family's Hilltop Acres in Calmar. His friend, Cody Zidlicky, 17, brought a Brown Swiss heifer calf.

"I think my heifers will do okay and the cows will do better," Mashek said. "I showed the calves at the Iowa State Fair, but not the cows."

He thinks highly of his four-year-old cow, IE Hilltop Acres Vig Rena.

"She's turned out to be a really good cow," Mashek said.

He also planned to show Jazzy, a nine-year-old cow, in the Component Merit Class. The cow was Brown Swiss National Protein Champion in 2011.

"She's one of our favorite cows on the farm," Mashek said.

The main reason Mashek comes to World Dairy Expo is to promote his family's business.

His parents hosted tour groups who were interested in seeing their Brown Swiss herd at Calmar the week after expo.

Good butter fat and protein, quality feet and legs and dairy strength are what Mashek likes about Brown Swiss.

Mashek started classes at Northeast Iowa Community College this fall where he is working toward a degree in dairy science and agricultural business.

"My teachers encourage us to come here," he said. "NICC arranged a three-day tour where they visited dairy farms and spent a day at expo."

Cattle exhibitors have been discussing the plans to build new pavilions to replace the aging barns at World Dairy Expo, Mashek said.

"I know World Dairy Expo will be here for a long time if they do that," he said.