SYRACUSE, NY — Ziems Farms experienced such a winning showing at the recent New York Spring Dairy Carousel that Barb Ziemba has a hard time remembering all the ribbons awarded to her husband, Kevin, and their son, Mason.
The Ziembas brought 26 cows of their 43-head herd from Durhamville, NY to the annual show, held at the New York State Fairgrounds.
“Mason won quite a bit in the Junior show and with the Jerseys,” Barb Ziemba said.
In the Junior Holstein Show, he won first with his winter calf, first and honorable mention Junior Champion with his summer yearling, second with his winter yearling, and first 4-Year-Old with an animal that also went on to be Honorable Mention Grand Champion.
For the Jerseys, Mason walked off with fourth place Winter Heifer Calf and also first Junior. His fall yearling was third and first Junior within the Jersey Show.
His fall calf was tenth and third place Junior. His winter yearling was eighth place and third Junior. His winter yearling won Reserve Junior Champion of the Junior Jersey Show. Mason’s five-year-old Jerseys won third and first in the Junior Show and Grand Champion of the Junior show.
But the Ziembas weren’t done yet. They also won first in the Red & White Show for their winter calf, third for their fall calf, sixth for their winter yearling and second place and first in the Junior Show for fall yearling. Also in the Junior Red & White show, they won first for Junior Best Three-Year-Old Female, second for Junior Three-Year-Old and had an animal pulled out for consideration for Intermediate Champion.
Kevin showed during the Open Show. The farm’s summer yearling won fifth and Junior placing. The winter yearling took home fifth as well, and their five-year-old won fifth place.
The Ziembas raise heifers and also own eight milk cows, in addition to goats.
Mason “really enjoys it and is excited about doing the shows,” Barb Ziemba said. “He was doing a big countdown of how many days before the show.”
Mason has also shown goats. He participates in the Junior Holstein Association and 4-H. The 10-year-old also plays soccer.
Since Ziems Farms operates on 10 acres (their milkers are housed elsewhere), they don’t have land for crop farming, but use what land they own for heifer pasture.
“Our primary focus is show cows and we also do some with genomics as well,” Barb Ziemba said.
She and Kevin work at home for Select Firepower. She’s an area sales manager; Kevin is a large herd genetic consultant.
“It has been a while since we’ve done so well at shows,” Ziemba said. “We’re coming back into it and I think everyone’s goal is to have that all-American that wins at the World Dairy Expo in Madison.”
The family also shows at The Big E, New York State Fair, Oneida (NY) County Fair, and Central New York Holstein Show in Norwich, NY.
“I thought the Dairy Carousel was a really good, quality show with a lot of good animals,” Ziemba said. “I thought the judges did a fantastic job.”
“For the market is soft as it has been lately, I was impressed with those that showed up and showed their animals and can still take part in something we love.”
Ziemba believes that refining the farm’s show program at home and how they take care of the heifers helped them experience such a winning show.
“We’re constantly learning and trying to improve on making the heifers look their best and growing them the best way that we can,” Ziemba said.
She didn’t grow up showing, but Kevin did. He was active in 4-H and the Junior Holstein Association. Barb got into showing after meeting Kevin.