HARRISBURG — An old Holstein with a young attitude on Friday won the top dairy cow award Friday at the 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Carla, owned by Jill Dice of Fredericksburg and Galen Martin of East Earl, beat 235 other cows to win the Supreme Champion Dairy Cow award at the agricultural exposition, which ends at 5 p.m. Saturday. Carla, who at age 11 is considered an aged cow, also won Supreme Champion Dairy Cow honors in the 2015 Farm Show.
The Supreme Champion Dairy Cow is selected from among the grand champions of the seven major breeds in the show.
Two Cumberland County cows were among the seven competing for highest honors, Nevaeh, the Grand Champion Milking Shorthorn owned by Brian Nailor of Monroe Township, and Jasmine, the Grand Champion Ayrshire owned by Roy Coale of Upper Frankford Township.
The competition calls attention to Pennsylvania’s 525,000 cows, which produce more than 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually, according to the state’s Center for Dairy Excellence.
The Supreme Champion award ceremony began with the traditional parade of the Grand Champion cows around the Equine Arena. Most of the cows meandered slowly into the circle but Nevaeh would have none of it. The Milking Shorthorn stopped in her tracks, forcing Nailor to pull her several times to get her to move.
Three judges evaluated the cows for several minutes, then selected Carla as the Supreme Champion for the second time in four years. Carla, with her gleaming coat, straight back, long body and firm udder stood quietly. Dice beamed with joy.
“Carla is a problem-free cow, not a diva or a drama queen,” Dice said. “She’s hard-working, breeds well and gets the job done. Her udder is beautiful, well-attached and youthful. It’s incredible she won Supreme Champion again.”
Dice, a sixth-generation dairy farmer who grew up in Waynesboro, and her husband, Andy, milk Jerseys in Fredericksburg and have Holsteins in East Earl.
Dice called Carla very adaptable and said she seemed right at home at the Farm Show. Dice and her husband milk 170 cows, mostly Jerseys, while Martin milks 60 Holsteins.
Coale, who milks 40 Ayrshires, said he was showing at his first Farm Show in 20 years. “I’m pleased to have the champion Ayrshire,” he said.
Nailor, a third-generation dairy farmer, and his brother, Jason, milk 65 Holsteins and Milking Shorthorns and grow crops.
Also competing for Supreme Champion honors were the grand champion cows owned by:
- Katie Wright of Donegal, Brown Swiss.
- Kelly Johnson and Rutter’s Dairy of York, Guernsey.
- Harold Harpster of Boalsburg, Jersey.
- Lynette Gelsinger of Womelsdorf, Red and White Holstein.