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Young people like showing cattle

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 07/24/2013 4:24 PM

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DECORAH, Iowa —Michael Lyons, of Castalia, was pleased with how his Red and White Holsteins did at last week's Winneshiek County Fair in Decorah.

His two-year-old, Ginseng, was Grand Champion Holstein in the 4-H and open shows and Reserve Supreme Champion Dairy Animal in both shows.

"The judges liked that she is such a tall and massive dairy cow," Lyons said. "She has an excellent mammary and a high udder. One judge said it would be hard to find another cow like her in the United States."

Ginseng's March calf, Gentry, was second in the 4-H show and first in the open show. Lyons showed a fall calf, Ganessa, which placed second in both the 4-H and open shows. His aged cow, Gennifer, placed first in her class both days.

"All four of them are bred and owned by me," Lyons said. "It feels good to have your own home-bred cattle winning."

This was the last year that Lyons, 19, could show in 4-H. Next year, he'll show in FFA. He graduated from South Winneshiek High School this spring and will attend Northeast Iowa Community Collegel. His parents, Doug and Lynette, have a dairy farm at Castalia.

Ginseng placed first at the District and State Holstein Shows held earlier this summer in Decorah.

Megan Bushman's senior yearling Guernsey, Maplehurst Judgment Brilliant, was Grand Champion and Junior Supreme Champion Dairy Animal in the open show and Junior Champion Guernsey and Supreme Junior Champion Dairy Animal in the 4-H/FFA show.

Megan and her sister, Ashley, picked up numerous awards for their colorful string of nine cattle. Their parents, Todd and Connie, have a dairy farm near Calmar.

In the open show, their winter yearling Holstein placed second in the open show. Their winter yearling and summer yearling Milking Shorthorns both placed first and were Reserve Junior Champion and Honorable Mention Junior Champion. Their Ayrshire fall calf was Junior Champion. Their three-year-old Jersey was first in class, and their aged Jersey cow was second and Honorable Mention Senior Champion. Their Jersey winter yearling was second and their Jersey winter calf was fifth.

In the 4-H/FFA show, Ashley showed the Reserve Senior Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Jersey, the Milking Shorthorn Junior Champion and Reserve Junior Champion, and the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Ayrshires. Megan showed the Junior Champion and Reserve Junior Champion Jerseys.

"I like showing cattle," said Ashley, 19. She is studying dairy science and ag business at Northeast Iowa Community College. "I was happy with how I did."

Megan, 17, attends South Winneshiek High School, and she and Ashley are in FFA.

"I like working hard and getting rewarded at the end," said Megan in explaining what she likes about showing.

The Bushmans have all the major dairy breeds plus some lesser known breeds like Normande, Danish Red, White Park and Montbeliard .

"We used to be organic but now we're focusing more on selling show calves, embryos and more the genetic side of it," said Todd Bushman. "We use our crossbreds as recipient cows."