Milk Days wraps up with Dairy Show, some events rescheduled due to rain

Junior Dairy Cattle Show is a precursor to county fairs

Competitors line up on Sunday, June 4, 2023, for the Junior Dairy Cattle Show held during Harvard's Milk Days festival. A total of 14 different classes of competitors showed five different dairy cows during the annual event.

Becky Wellnitz brought four of her 4-Hers from Broodhead, Wisc., to compete at Harvard’s Milk Days.

For three of those young dairy farmers, it was the first time to show their heifers in competition, Wellnitz said.

“It is a fun thing for these kids to do, who live and breath dairy cows,” Wellnitz said.

Overall, the numbers for the weekend event were “pretty good,” Harvard Mayor MikeKelly said, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Evening Big Wheel and Bed Races planned for Wednesday in downtown Harvard were called off because of thunderstorms. They will be rescheduled for this week.

Sunday was warm and dry for the dairy competition, however.

In total, about 80 head of cattle were entered for judging this year, Kate Olbrich said.

Olbrich and her sister, Debbie Rink, have run the Junior Dairy Cattle Show at Milk Days for the past four years.

The show is “a great promotion for the dairy industry” as older farmers are retiring from milking, Rink said.

To help draw in the 4-H and dairy farm competitors, Olbrich advertises the event on Facebook and gathers prizes beyond a blue ribbon. The top winners for the day may also get a brand-name camp chair, cattle brushes, clippers and blow driers, too.

Harvard Mayor Mike Kelly was across the festival grounds on Sunday, helping families get their arm bands for carnival rides. The crowd on Sunday, just after noon, grew fast.

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