HARRISBURG — A “curious cow” named Milady gave her owner an unforgettable birthday present Friday by winning the prestigious Supreme Champion Dairy Cow honors at the 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The 4-year-old Jersey, owned by Spatz Cattle Co. of Lititz and shown by Jacob Spatz, beat 275 other cows from seven breeds to win Supreme Champion Dairy Cow honors, considered the Miss Pennsylvania of the bovine industry.
“This is my birthday,” beamed Spatz, now 32, as he stood with his wife, Megan, and Milady. “It’s my 10th Farm Show and my first supreme champion. I thought she had a good chance of winning.”
Judges spent the day evaluating all the cows, eventually selecting seven breed champions. Those champions then competed for supreme champion honors by lumbering into the Equine Arena with their owners. Three judges evaluated them, conferred then agreed on a winner.
Spatz grinned when the judges selected Milady and looked even happier when state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and some dairy princesses gave him a purple and gold banner. Spatz also received a $1,000 premium.
“My wife and I are going out for a steak dinner to celebrate,” said Spatz, who is sales director for New Holland Auto Group. The Spatzs milk 60 Jerseys and have 100 Jersey heifers.
“It’s the only breed to have,” said Spatz, who started showing Jerseys from his grandfather’s farm in Fredericksburg when he was a little boy. “They’re sweet, small and milk good. Milady is a good, curious cow.”
Nevaeh, a two-year-old Milking Shorthorn owned by a Cumberland County dairy farmer, won the grand champion Milking Shorthorn award and competed for supreme champion honors.
“Her name is heaven spelled backward,” said Brian Nailor of Monroe Township. “I’ve been showing cows at the Farm Show for 20 years. This is the first time I’ve won a grand champion.”
Nailor, who works for JDK Group Catering of Camp Hill, grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 130 acres. He also milks 25 Milking Shorthorns, which he called “a healthy, durable breed.”
Also contending for the top award were:
An Ayrshire owned by Audrey Gay Rodgers of Belleville.
A Brown Swiss owned by Abby Sterner of Barto.
A Guernsey owned by Aaron Gable of New Enterprise.
A Holstein owned by Jacob Kline of Myerstown.
A Red & White owned by Jacob Kline of Myerstown.