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Gelbvieh strut their stuff at Northern Lights Classic

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 07/19/2013 8:46 AM

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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Spectators sat scattered in clumps in the stands watching the cattle in the ring at the American Gelbvieh Junior Association Northern Lights Classic.

The cattle were led in front of judge Jim Williams, of Boling, Texas, who placed them and gave his reasons. Gelbvieh are a maternal breed known for their growth. They originated in Germany.

Duel Stock, of Waukon, Iowa, was second in his class with his nearly 6-month-old bull, Power Pac. The bull was born Jan. 19 and will be weaned the end of July, so he's ready to show at the Iowa State Fair.

The bull had been in the ring at the Olmsted County fairgrounds three times by mid-morning Friday and was ready to go back to its dam, Stock said. He was in the show ring one time Wednesday, one time Thursday and another time Friday. He was to make at least one more appearance later Friday.

He has a good disposition, except when he wants his mom, Stock said. Then, he gets a little touchy.

His father, Mark, explained the bull's features.

"He shows himself, he's what we're trying to achieve with our herd," Mark said.

The family runs Crooked Creek Cattle Company and sells about 30 bulls a year to commercial cattle producers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Mark said.

The bulls shown in the junior show must be owned by the junior member, said Ann Riebel, one of the organizers of the Northern Lights Classic. The steers and heifers may be owned by the family.

This was the first time the Stock family attended a national Gelbvieh show. They went primarily because it was close to home, only about two hours away. Mark was able to bring the family up and go home and make hay for a couple days before returning to help prepare the cattle. His wife, Stacy, stayed in Rochester with Duel, 15, Dani, 13, and Drew, 9.

The Stocks normally show at their county fair and the Iowa State Fair and the Big Four Fair in Postville. They also have shown at the Iowa Gelbvieh Association junior show.

Duel said showing at the Northern Lights Classic was nicer than at the county fair because he was competing against others showing the same breed. At their county fair, all breeds are judged against one another.

The kids already have told their father they want to go to Sioux Falls for next year's junior show.

"They've learned a lot," Mark said.

In a barn across the street, Samantha Ivers, of Austin, was fitting a Gelbvieh heifer.

As she worked to shape the heifer's tail hair into a teardrop, Ivers said this is her third national junior Gelbvieh show. The 18-year-old previously attended national shows in Nebraska and Missouri.

You want the tail puffy, but not too puffy, she explained, as her hands sculpted the hairs.

It's nice to show against the same breed, Ivers said. It also is nice to see friends she's made from the other Gelbvieh shows she's attended.

"I enjoy getting to see everyone just as much as showing," she said.

Doing well at the show is a bonus. Their family brought five cattle to show.

Her sister, Tessa, 17, sprayed what can be described as cow hair spray on the heifer. Her father, Steve, started combing the heifer's leg hair.

After the show, the hair spray must be removed or the heifer's hair will fall out, Samantha explained.

They all enjoy showing, and they all play a part. Her family includes her mother, Rosalie, and her brother, Colton, 13.

Riebel said everything went well and the cattle producers particularly enjoyed the weather. Last year, the show was in Missouri, when the temperature topped 100 each day.

"It's been a really good week," she said.