Heydmann's job is in the barn

MADISON, Wis. — Phil "Hollywood" Heydmann grew up showing registered Holsteins but these days he stays in the barn fitting cattle. He’s been fitting cattle for about 15 years and on his own for 10.

"I’ve always been at shows, and I worked my way up to the fitting," Heydmann said.

Heydmann, 33, milks 60 registered Holsteins with his father at Zumbrota, Minn. He also builds pole sheds. He has two children, Ella, 6 and Hunter, 3.

Heydmann has had a string of cattle at World Dairy Expo for three years straight. Before that he took a break for three years, but was there for six years before that.

This year he brought the equipment for his 17-head string on the Friday before Expo started. The cattle came the next day, and they went home eight days later on Oct. 7.


"Things have been good this year," Heydmann said. "We had a fourth-place cow, third- and fourth-place heifers, a couple fifths and some other medals."

Heydmann said he is in charge of the string, but he talks to an animal’s owner before making any decisions.

"We communicate pretty good," he said.

Some herd owners in his string wash cattle and he does all the clipping.

Heydmann said he has learned a lot about fitting from other people.

"I’m still learning," he said. "I learn something new every day."

What Heydmann likes best about World Dairy Expo is the people and seeing all the good cows.

He said that after the cattle in his string are done showing he can relax a little bit and look around.


"I mostly like to look at cows," Heydmann said. "It’s fun to walk through the trade show and see new things, but I like to look at cows more than anything."

He goes to the Minnesota spring Holstein show, the Minnesota State Fair and a number of county fairs in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"I don’t like to go in the ring too much," Heydmann said. "My job is in the barn."

Heydmann said he’s tired after a week at World Dairy Expo.

"But I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t having fun," he said. "I enjoy it. I grew up with it. It’s in my blood."


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