My world collided into one named ‘Bags’ in the summer of 2006 at a fancy dairy show cow function and nearly six years after attending more of these fancy dairy show cow functions together we wound up getting hitched. So it seemed fitting that we would spend our third anniversary heading for another one of these events!
It doesn’t seem to matter how hard you try, the week of the show arrives and you never really feel prepared. But, this year we were kind of ahead of the game a little bit. All of our animals had been clipped and washed prior to leaving for the show, which was a bonus and would hopefully mean a little bit less work at the fairgrounds. So Tuesday morning arrived, all we had to do was throw some tack on the trailer, load the girls up and be on our way.
Tuesday morning had different ideas. The air compresser in the barn caught fire – which don’t worry, no major damage happened other than the inconvenience of milking being disrupted and then the time required to have the darn thing repaired. No big deal. Well it kind of is because your air compresser isn’t ever supposed to catch fire. Now being two hours behind schedule we quickly get the tack and the girls loaded onto the trailer, the boys and our luggage into the truck and down the road we go.
We live in Eastern Washington, which many don’t realize is actually considered “desert land” so to get to our Washington State B&W Show, which was held in Monroe we had some mountains to climb. We were headed up the first pass – which is more like a little foothill, but it’s still a steep climb and suddenly the truck wanted to die. No fancy lights or alarms came on, it just didn’t want to really go. Chris managed to pull into a rest area at the top of the pass, he walked around the truck, thought everything looked fine so down the other side of the pass we thought we’d go. Driving only 35 miles as everyone else zoomed by at double that speed was kind of uncomfortable. We called a friend who was able to meet us at a truck dealership. Nearly three hours later we continued our journey to Monroe in Korben’s pick-up truck, left ours at the dealership and we finally pulled into the fairgrounds, with a trailer full of grumpy cows and heifers, two screaming children, a pounding headache and a huge workload ahead of us before we could even think of having dinner and going to bed. Thankfully we had an eager team waiting for us so we were able to get everything unloaded quite quickly!
It was quite a journey to get to a destination that was only three hours away, but we got there in one piece and the week turned out to be totally worth it! We showed a handful of Brown Swiss heifers in the first ever State Brown Swiss Show and had Junior and Reserve Junior Champion. We had a couple of Jerseys in the show, one of which was shown by my nephew Josh and he placed second in his class and then we had two cows in the B&W show, both placing second and one being named the Honorable Mention Intermediate Champion of the show …. not a bad couple of days I’d say! Aside from that it was a great time hanging out and catching up with friends who we don’t see very often.
We had some great help on our team including Rebecca, Mieke and Helena VanEss – both Helena and Mieke competed in the show as well and were named Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Showperson’s. We’re very proud of them and thankful for their hard work this week! We also had the help of Juliana LeClair who was named the Alternate Jersey Queen for 2015 – congratulations to her and we wish her the best of luck as she fulfills her duties as Queen!
Showing is all about the kids, and this is something that Chris really feels strong about. It seemed to be a mad rush getting all those heifers ready in such a short time frame, helping kids get their animals to the show ring for their showmanship competitions, but somehow Chris made it happen. I know a couple of us were getting a little irritated by him helping everyone and we started panicking that our animals wouldn’t get done, but it all worked out. I LOVE how kind and patient and how he’s so willing to do anything “for the kids.” Trying to show and get everything done with a toddler and a 3 month old baby was no easy feat and there were times in which I really wasn’t loving my time at the show but we got thru it as many before us have as well. What a great way to be able to raise kids! Nate’s already turning into a little helper, wanting to help lead animals, feed hay, wash heifers, sweep the floor and anything else. We won’t mention the part where any of these tasks only hold his attention for limited moments …. after all he isn’t even three years old yet! Then there’s baby Elijah who was on cloud nine with all the attention he was getting. Trying to save a cow from pooping all over herself at ring side with a baby in a front pack was slightly challenging but I tell you my multi-tasking skills have reached new levels!
This year our state show turned into a little reunion for the Baginski side of the family cousins. Megan came up from Oregon with Scott and Anneka and then we had Liz and Josh with us for the week as well. I didn’t get to spend much time with them but judging by the laughter and running around that I did see, they definitely had a blast together! It was great to see them all eagerly participate in the showmanship competition and then later we had the boys help lead animals in the open show. Great job guys!