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World Dairy Expo is Brad Arthur's 'World Series'

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 10/25/2013 12:58 PM

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MADISON, Wis. — Arthuracres in Maynard, Iowa, got its start when Myron Arthur took his son, Brad, to the Iowa State Fair Holstein Show when he was seven.

Arthur, an independent AI representtive and part-time milk truck driver, had gone to show support for his customers.

"Brad just really seemed to like what he saw and asked if he could do that," said Myron. "I jokingly tell people I made the mistake of taking Brad to the Iowa State Fair."

"There was something about it that I liked," said Brad, who now is 21.

Two years later, Brad got Holstein and Ayrshire share heifers for the summer. The next year he purchased his first calf.

"From there things set off like wildfire," Brad said.

Brad's enthusiasm drew in his younger brother, Brian, and he started showing as well.

Arthuracres, which is owned by Myron, his wife, Janet, and Brad and Brian, consists of 20 to 25 Holstein, Ayrshire, Jersey and Milking Shorthorn heifers. Their cows are owned in partnership with others or are farmed out. These days, the Arthurs show at the Fayette County Fair, the Iowa State Fair, the Youth Classic, the National Cattle Congress and World Dairy Expo. They've shown in Louisville, Ky., twice. Both boys are in FFA.

Brad is a senior at Luther College, where he is majoring in physical education and health with plans to teach. With Brad getting a teaching job, and Brian moving on to college, Myron said future showing is up in the air.

"I would like to stay involved with some partnership cows," Brad said.

The Arthurs brought five head to World Dairy Expo. Their Winter Yearling Ayrshire placed third in the open show. Their Milking Shorthorn Spring Heifer Calf was sixth in the open show and first in the junior show. Their Jersey Fall Calf finished in the middle of its class. Their Jersey Junior Two-Year-Old finished 13th in the open show and second in the junior show. Their Aged Jersey Cow was eighth.

"Showing is a lot of hard work," Brad said. "You're always tired, and you sometimes wonder why you do it, but you have a goal in mind and sometimes you achieve your goal. I really like the cattle and working with them. It just doesn't happen overnight, it's progressive steps. Getting an animal to where you need to be to be competitive takes a lot of work. If you do well, all the work pays off."

Brad has shown cattle for 11 years, and most years he shows at Madison.

Brad said he's a barn rat and doesn't leave it unless he's going to the show ring or to get something to eat.

"I'm constantly around the animals," he said. "I like being in this environment, walking out into the arena and showing," said Brian.

"I like the atmosphere," Brad said. "This is what I like to do. This is like my 'World Series.' It's an opportunity see what's working. I like the showing and the competition, and I like the people. I go around and talk to people that I only see once a year."