‘Work never ends:’ cattle fitter gives insight on show prep

By Jessika Guse/CJME News Staff
November 23, 2017 - 10:52am

Just by stepping in the barns at Agribition you’ll notice cows getting their hair fluffed, fur clipped and even the hooves shined.

It’s all a part of fitting the cow before they go out to be judged.

“The work starts at home,” said Megan Rosso of Rosso Charolais.

“You decide which cow you want to showcase for your farm and you bring them in, you feed them, you halter break them, so that their quiet and so that they can come to town and you can handle them by yourself.”

Rosso is not an amateur at Agribtion having come for quite some time. Both Rosso and her brother Will were helping friends out with their cattle before a show.

She said she can’t even count the amount of time that goes into prep work as it’s an ongoing process.

“As for show day, it starts around three, four o’clock in the morning to feed them and to dry them, give them water and then they can lay down and have a rest before they gotta stand,” she said.

Rosso noted that rest is a huge part of the process as at times — if the cow is chosen from its class for the championship class — it can be standing for quite some time.

“He (the bull calf) has to be able to stand for that long and not be riled up, so rest is key,” she said.

Fitting the cow is what Rosso said is like “pretty’ing them up” just like a human would go to the salon.

“They’re washed in the morning and then dried,” she said. “We pull up the hair to the way we want it to sit so we can shape the legs and the rest of the body so that the animal is showcased to the best of their ability — you’re taking them out when they look the best.”

She even said they use products for the cow’s fur just like a person would use hair products.

“It’s like hairspray but really sticky,” Rosso said.

After the heifer or bull calf is ready to go, Rosso said it’s showtime and all you can do from there is hope you have the best-looking cow in your class.

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