The Tunbridge World’s Fair means a great deal to many. Starting in 1867, the fair has been an institution in New England since its inception, serving as a reprieve from the daily grind of agricultural life in Vermont. It was a celebration of the end of another season’s worth of hard work and the traditions and workmanship necessary to maintain it. It also allowed for Vermont’s rural communities to blow off some steam before a long winter. These days, despite the widening crowd hailing from distant towns and sounds from the enormous gleaming rides, the fair hasn’t strayed much from its roots of exhibiting some of the finest animal shows in the country.
This year’s 146th World’s Fair did not disappoint. On Sept. 14, 220 heads of dairy cattle descended on the Tunbridge Fairgrounds to be shown in the Junior Division and Supreme Dairy Cow competitions. With 90 heads represented in the Junior shows, it was one of the largest in the fair’s history. In conjunction with the American Livestock Breed Conservancy, organizers also took great care to provide space for rare breeds at this year’s fair, most notably the pair of Dexter cows from Stump Row Farm of Fairlee, VT.
In the running for the Supreme Dairy Cow award was an array of breeds of multiple ages, all judged by Richard Giddings of Brandon, VT. Traits that Giddings was seeking out when judging each cow were good udder attachment, sounds legs and feet, a strong mammary system and wideness of the hocks and chest. The grand champions of each breed exhibited the best of these traits, though the competition was impressive.
The Supreme Dairy Cow award was given to Robeth Atwood Bamboo owned by Dylan Slack of Bethel, VT. This entry also won the Grand Champion Award of its breed category.
The Grand Champion of the Jersey breed was awarded to White Rock T-Bone Lola owned by White Rock Farm of Randolph Center, VT.
The Grand Champion of the Lineback breed was awarded to B&R Dimmick Allstarred Colleen owned by Rob and Brooke Dimmick of Randolph Center, VT.
The Grand Champion of the Milking Shorthorn breed was awarded to Road Taser Shortcake owned by Alicia Whitehead of Williamstown, VT.
The Grand Champion of the Guernsey breed was awarded to Trotacre Levi Hettie-ETV owned by Peg Delong and leased to Sarah Howe.
The Grand Champion of the Dutch Belt breed was awarded to Petunia owned by Morgan Caron of Tunbridge, VT.
The Grand Champion of the Brown Swiss breed was awarded to Hoyt-Top Grandslam Sapphire owned by Jay and Lori Hoyt from Hoyt Top Dairy of Fort Ann, NY.
The Grand Champion of the Aryshire breed was awarded to ALW Aclaim Ginney owned by Gilead Brook Farm of Randolph, VT.
This dairy show was an amazing representation of the variety of dairy breeds raised in the Northeast and the immense care each of the owners put into their animals. The Tunbridge World’s Fair continues to do justice to the roots of our country’s agricultural history by displaying and encouraging the fine showmanship of local farms and 4-H members. If 2017 was any indication, the 147th year can only be better.