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July 10, 2014

'Big puppies:' Cattle take stage Wednesday at Cass fair

4-Hers show off dairy feeders and dairy steers

Haus, a year-and-a-half-old Brown Swiss dairy steer, has a mind of his own, according to his owner Sarah Fisher, 17. She said it’s pretty common among cattle.

“They have their days,” the ninth-year 4-H member said. “They want to play sometimes and sometimes they just don’t want to do anything at all.”

Haus, as well as dozens of other cattle, filled up the exhibition building at the Cass County 4-H Fair Wednesday for the dairy feeder and dairy steer show and beef show.

The dairy feeder and dairy steer show began at 7:30 a.m. and had about 18 classes of dairy feeder steer calves and dairy steers. The beef show began after that show. Sarah’s steer was in class 15, with a weight of 1,395 pounds.

Sarah said Haus is a Brown Swiss. that breed is more calm than Holstein Friesians, which have the traditional black and white color.

“He’s pretty used to me. I could yell his name and he’ll come out,” Sarah said. “They’re just like big puppies if you walk them enough. They’re pretty smart so it doesn’t take much to work with them.”

Before the show begins, each contestant washes off the steers outside the cattle building. Sarah said it gets pretty crowded then, and that some of the animals detest getting washed. Other times, they cooperate.

“It’s fun when they do because you can get them all sudsy and play with them in the water,” Sarah said.

Katelyn Smith, 13, grew up on a farm and her family has a long tradition of showing cattle at the fair. So in her fifth year in 4-H, she’s continued the tradition each fair.

Her steer, Peeta, won the award for the champion dairy steer in this year’s show. He’s a Holstein Friesian steer.

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