Cattle Clipping Contest takes center stage on the first day of the Jefferson Co. Fair

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:37 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - North Country cows have descended upon the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds. The Jefferson County Fair has returned, and along with it the Lavern Parker Memorial Clipping Contest.

“See how well you can walk your calf. How he walks, how your bond is. How well you take care of him, how clean he is,” said Gage Kampnich of Booth Farms.

“Showmanship is how you wash, clip, show, and how well you know your animal,” said Garrett Phelps of Northern Farms.

A bond between owner and animal that for some starts at birth.

“It’s been amazing seeing new life being born and seeing that you’re going to be raising this calf,” said Kampnich.

For others, it’s a bond that comes through time spent together.

“I’m the one giving them there milk. So they have a connection with me and not with anyone else. It’s with me, so they see me as a figure, okay we can trust you,” said Phelps.

A trust that if you ask Phelps, he says helps them both try to get the win, while enjoying a day in the sun.

“I think she actually enjoys it. It’s walking around the ring. She gets to be there, she gets to look nice. She may not like all the clipping and stuff, but being able to be clipped on a hot summer day, it helps her keep cool,” said Phelps.

Although both Phelps and Kampnich form a tight bond with their bovine, both realize that they may ultimately have to say goodbye to the four legged friends.

“You gotta keep that in the back of your head. I don’t get too attached because I know in a few years he probably end up going to the sale. It’s kind of just a way of life,” said Kampnich.

There are lots of competitions still to check out as the fair continues at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds all week.

Wednesday there is the 4-H poultry show starting at 9 AM, and Thursday the goats take center stage at 1:30 PM. The originally scheduled pig show at 2 PM has been cancelled.

Tuesday evening hosts the fireman’s parade at 7 PM.

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