Red River Valley Fair Shines Spotlight on Livestock
the fair will have poultry starting Wednesday
FARGO, N.D. — It’s all about who’s got the best of the best at the Red River Valley Fair.
And no, we’re not talking about the food or the rides.
No matter the family, you can always expect a tradition to arise.
“My dad showed at the state fair back in 1972 in bell bottom pants. Then I showed, my sister has shown and my kids will eventually start showing cattle too,” said Lacey Kreft, beef and dairy superintendent at the fair.
If you’re going to display your best cow or any livestock for that matter, it’s all about picking the right one.
Sometimes, that means adding a whole group to the mix.
“The white one is Waffles, the middle one is Hazel and the grey one is Jack,” said Taylin Muller, who was showing her cattle.
But getting these guys ready for the big day means putting in a lot of hard labor.
“Many people will rinse every day, the morning and the night to help their hair grow and make their hair look nice. They’re fed twice a day, morning and night and their feed is rationed out to a T. It’s intensive work,” Kreft said.
It’s when you don’t put in the blood, sweat and tears that even your cattle will be disappointed because in this competition, appearance is everything.
“They’ll be looking at their confirmation, how sound they are in the move, their muscles, how stout or thick they are, you’re breeding animals. You want them to have some depth, how deep their body is, capacity, how round their ribcage is, whether they’re able to carry babies obviously,” Kreft said.
And yes, that even includes the cow’s attitude when their moooooving around the arena.
“Really tame because if they’re not tame, they like to run away and kick a lot,” Taylin said.
If done just right, competitors say it’s a one–of–a–kind feeling.
“Oh gosh, it’s an immense amount of pride, whether you’re first or last in your class, you get to show off what you’ve been working so hard for all summer and even into the school year.”
For the kids and families who spend hours working with the livestock, man’s and woman’s best friend is redefined as a heifer or calf.
“They all become a part of our family. They go on vacation, vacation is the cattle show. We’re gone every weekend and we feed them before we feed ourselves.”
They capture their trainers’ hearts in becoming a part of their family’s tradition.
The Red River Valley Fair also had sheep, goat, hog and horse shows.
Tomorrow poultry will be added to the mix.