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Byers takes dairy cattle show Friday

August 20, 2010|By C.J. LOVELACE, Staff Correspondent
  • Nathaniel Young, 8, of Mercersburg, Pa., watches the judge as he holds Ruby, his 5-month-old Holstein Friday night at the Franklin County Fair. Nathaniel and Ruby took second place in the Junior Division Dairy Calf Showmanship.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Travis Byers was all smiles Friday night.

Byers, 17, of Shippensburg, Pa., won both the senior class and Grand Champion honors at the 4-H/FFA Dairy Cattle Showmanship competition at the Franklin County Fair.

Dressed in all white, as is customary for dairy shows in the state, Byers settled his prize-winning Holstein named Qiana down in her stall inside one of the dairy barns after the competition.

Byers said it felt good to win, especially after not doing so well in other shows this year.

"This year hasn't been too good," said a humble Byers, who is an FFA member. "I usually get in the bottom half of the showmanship, and I'm really surprised that I got in the top half this year."

Byers said it takes the better part of a year to train a heifer to perform in the ring. Getting started at the beginning of summer, he said he had to spend about two hours a day halter-breaking Qiana, then had to walk with her a lot to get her used to cooperating with him in the ring during shows.

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It worked, and Byers was quick to credit a well-behaved Qiana as a huge key to his success Friday.

"Last year, my heifer was stubborn; she didn't want to lead as well," Byers said, "but I got a really nice heifer this year."

Several other competitors weren't so lucky.

Rebekah Byers, who took fifth in the intermediate division, struggled to control her heifer for the duration of her showing, but judge Creedin Cornman said he was proud of the way she handled it.

"She didn't give up; she didn't quit and kept going," said Cornman, who is from Carlisle, Pa., and is a retired dairy farmer. "I really admire her for that."

Before being crowned with the evening's top honor, Byers, who also plans to become a dairy farmer, stood in the show ring with intermediate class winner Lucy Crider and junior class champ Derek Meyers.

With a clean presentation ever so important in dairy shows, Cornman said he was pleased with the effort put forth by the competitors and their preparation of the animals.

At the end, Cornman had nothing but encouraging words for the area.

"The families and the leaders here in Franklin County are outstanding," he said. "The kids are well-trained; their animals are well-trained at home. (The kids) are very, very courteous to the judge. I really appreciated it."

Ashley Dice, 12, the Franklin County Fair alternate princess, was on hand Friday to present ribbons to each earning shower.

4-H/FFA Dairy Cattle Showmanship



RESULTS:

Senior Class (15 & up): 1. Travis Byers; 2. Tyler Young; 3. Logan Carey; 4. Hannah Carey; 5. Hailey Martin; 6. Jay Byers.

Intermediate Class (12-14): 1. Lucy Crider; 2. Emily Wingert; 3. Katelyn Carey; 4. Matthew Brake; 5. Rebekah Byers.

Junior Class (8-11): 1. Derek Meyers; 2. Nathaniel Young; 3. Micah Young; 4. Joshua Gehr; 5. Kaylyn Hepfer; 6. Skyler Reichard; 7. Madison Martin; 8. Grace Crider; 9. Cassidy Martin; 10. Katelyn Baer.

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