Dairy showmanship is about learning as well as winning

pguerra@modbee.comJuly 17, 2014 

PG Dairy Showmanship 1

Blue-ribbon winner Landon Cunha poses for photos with his parents, Martin and Melissa, and the dairy cow that helped him to first place in dairy showmanship at the Stanislaus County Fair on Wednesday (07-16-14) in Turlock, Calif.

PATTY GUERRA — pguerra@modbee.com Buy Photo


    It’s Modesto Nuts Night, with gifts from the Nuts to the first 1,000 guests.

    WHAT TO DO: Check out the small-animal auction at 6 p.m. at Thurman Pavilion B6.

    HIGHLIGHTS: Rock group Three Dog Night, featuring Modesto’s Michael Allsup on guitar, will “play something sweet, and make it funky,” tonight at 8:30 on the Variety Free Stage. In a show in October at the Gallo Center for the Arts, the group showed its vocal and musical chops are as strong as ever. From 1969 to 1975, Three Dog Night placed 21 singles in Billboard’s Top 40, eventually producing 13 albums and selling more than 40 million. The songs include its first No. 1 hit, “One,” followed by “Easy to Be Hard,” “Joy to the World” and “Black and White.”

    ARENA: Tuff Trucks, Junior Outlaw Races, Lawn Mower Races, Monster Trucks, 6:30 p.m.

    CENTER STAGE: Kelly McDonald Band, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; The Andromeda Project, 8 to 10:30 p.m.

    COMMUNITY STAGE: No Gray Areas, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thin Black Line, 8 to 9:30 p.m.

    HOURS: Gates open at noon; exhibit buildings close at 11 p.m.; carnival closes at midnight.

    PARK ’N’ RIDE: 11:30 a.m. to midnight; park and ride free from California State University, Stanislaus (Crowell Road off Monte Vista Avenue), or Pitman High School (Christoffersen Parkway). Shuttles run every 15 to 20 minutes.

    WHERE: From Highway 99, exit at Fulkerth Road in Turlock and head east. For fairgrounds parking, turn right on Soderquist Road, or go past Soderquist for more parking; $5 per vehicle.

    ADMISSION: $12 for adults, $5 for children 7 to 12 and seniors 65 and older, free for 6 and younger.

    INFORMATION: www.stancofair.com, (209) 668-1333

— Sarah Zonneveld looked over the assembled 4-H members as they brought their dairy cows into the ring, paraded them around and then stood in line with them.

Zonneveld, judging the 4-H dairy showmanship competition at the Stanislaus County Fair on Wednesday, was looking for several very specific things: “How they exhibit themselves and the animal, the cleanliness of the animal, whether they move in unison, in sync.”

The competition was the culmination of months of feeding, bathing and generally caring for the animals. The human participants have to look good, too, with their white uniforms crisp and clean.

Because the competitors she was judging ranged from 9 to 11 years old, Zonneveld said, her job is to educate as well as to score each participant.

“I talk to each one of them, giving them positive feedback,” she said. “Showmanship is an optional thing and we want them to come back.”

The blue-ribbon winner was Landon Cunha, 10. Like most of the other participants, Landon is a member of Chatom 4-H.

Chatom’s dairy barn was empty during Wednesday’s contest, an announcer said. Though it is optional, every Chatom member decided to take part.

Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter @PattyGuerra.

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