Minnesota State Holstein Show held in Rochester

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Todd Pierson began exhibiting at the Minnesota State Holstein Show about 25 years ago, when he was a junior member.

Last week he was there again, joined by his wife, Doris, and daughter, Gracie. All three would exhibit. 

For Pierson, of Lake City, it's a chance to see all his friends. He sat comfortably as he waited for exhibition, a fan behind him and cows stalled in front. 

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Minnesota Holstein Association. It's statewide event on the Olmsted County Fairgrounds had a show for junior members June 17 and an open show June 18. 

"The best herds are going to be here," said Steve Searles of Pine Island. "...People just like to bring these animals to show, and having an honor of getting an all-state winner." 


Searles was co-chair of the show with Rick Pagel of Rochester. The Rochester Area Holstein Club hosted. 

Cattle numbers were down slightly this year due to the tough economy, Searles said, but exhibitors came from as far away as Pipestone and Little Falls.

The Minnesota Junior Holstein Association Show had 110 head. Many were exhibited again in the open show, which had 210 head. 

Frank Regan of Waukon, Iowa, judged the junior show. He picked Jeremy Schafer's four-year-old cow, Johnan Roy Bambi, as Senior Grand Champion. It was the first time Schafer, 19, got a champion ribbon. Bambi was also Best Udder of Show.

She is the start of Schafer's herd, Lifetime Holsteins. He has four head and one more year of school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison before he'll return home to be a dairy producer. His parents, Kevin and Carol, have a 40-cow herd in Lake City.

Kayla Leiding exhibited the Reserve Senior Champion, three-year-old Shir-Man Roy Monica. Leiding, 13, of Fountain said placing high will help with her confidence as she takes Monica to other shows.

It was Leiding's second year there. Between her family, family friends and people they met last year, they had 17 cows stalled.

Junior competition here begins with cows, not heifers, which is rare for dairy shows, said Searles. This way, cows can be milked and re-fill their udders before the open show. 


Prizes included ribbons, plates and chairs, but the biggest award up for grabs was good promotion for a dairy family, Searles said. Titles showcase breeding programs or can be used toward national recognition as an All American Holstein winner. 

It could also help with future sales. 

"If they win here, they can bring more money," Searles said. 

Ag Olympics were held after the junior show followed by pizza, compliments of the Olmsted County ADA. 

There was severe weather in Rochester the evening of June 17,  but it didn't stop the open show, judged by Jeff Donohoe of Manitoba, Canada. Approximately 20 head were entered in a futurity class, after having been placed in the competition as calves and brought to this show as two-year-olds to be judged on conformation. A couple hundred dollars was the prize for first place. 

The last time Rochester hosted was in 2004, Searles said. That year, they moved the event from July to June.

"We moved it up to beat the heat and beat county fairs," he said. 

What To Read Next
Get Local