A passion for dairy cattle and a desire to teach 4-H and FFA kids the art of showing dairy heifers led us to starting the Columbia Basin Fitting and Showing Challenge a year ago. It was a one day event for kids to come out to the Grant County Fairgrounds and learn how to wash, clip (fit) and show their heifers and it turned out to be far more successful than we imagined! So we thought we’d do it again, only making it bigger and better!
Our Second Annual Columbia Basin Fitting and Showing Challenge was held this past week-end, starting on the Friday afternoon and running thru to the end of Saturday afternoon (June 19-20, 2015). We were expecting participants to roll in around 4pm on Friday afternoon, but these kids were so excited for the fun to begin, the trailers were rolling in long before then! Everyone had a chance to get their heifers washed and settled in before having a Pizza dinner, sponsored by Accelerated Genetics. They were then broken up into small teams of six to take part in a scavenger hunt, putting their puzzle and problem solving skills to the test! Nobody was in a hurry to get to bed that night so they were in the barns until dark getting a head start on clipping their heifers. It makes us so excited to see these young kids so eager to work with each other, taking care of their livestock!
You would think, with all these kids getting to bed so late they’d be slow to get to the barn on Saturday morning, but most were already washing their heifers by 6AM! A delicious breakfast was provided and served by the Mid-Columbia Dairy Women and then it was back to it, with more clipping and practicing with showmanship skills. Chris Baginski was our Fitting expert and was able to work with each of the participants, giving out tips and pointers all morning long. We were fortunate also to have Melissa Leatherman (with CRV) and Lacey Papageorge (Pappys Holsteins) and Ken Vandyken (Semex/Coulee Jerseys) join us for the day to work with the kids on showmanship skills.
After a delicious lunch sponsored by Pacific Rim and Ran-Rue Holsteins, it was time to put their showmanship skills to the test! Judge Dan Baginski judged all 27 kids as they competed against their fellow peers in their assigned classes – determined by age and experience. The top two from each class came back into the ring, at which time our Grand Champion Show-person was named. A big congratulations goes out to Leah Galusha, who is now a two-time Overall Champion of the Columbia Basin Fitting and Showing Challenge! Our top fitter went to a junior member, Chloe Groeneveld!
We are so appreciative of all who attended and are also so grateful for all of our sponsors! Without our sponsors this event would just be a dream! Each participant went home with amazing prized, consisting on show supplies that they would need to help them fit and take care of their dairy animals. We were also able to provide all of our participants and their family members with all of their meals as well!
We can’t wait for next year!