WEST ALLIS, Wis. - They spend roughly 20 minutes in the ring, but getting cows ready for the Wisconsin State Fair is a much lengthier process.
For people like 16-year-old Jazmyn Heeg, it takes time – and patience – to get the animals ready for show.
"We clip them, which is technically like a haircut for cows. Then we carve their topline out and cut the hair up here to make it look good, so it makes their hat look straight, and then we’ll spray them skin conditioner," said Heeg. "Hopefully she walks good and looks her best as possible."
Heeg grew up on her family's farm in central Wisconsin. She and her cow, Groovy, are competing for the first time in the Wisconsin State Fair ring this year. As they headed to the arena, they felt nervous, but after a few pep talks they were ready to go.
"You’re gonna do so good. We’re gonna be great," she said.
Jazmyn Heeg with her cow, Groovy, at the Wisconsin State Fair
In the preliminary competition, the judges observed not only how good Groovy looked, but how well Heeg handled her. Only the top two tandems make it to the finals; Heeg and Groovy made the cut.
"I’m so happy right now. This just means so much to me, especially with her," she said.
Pretty good for a first-time State Fair competitor.
"It gives me a sense of security that I know I can compete against everyone else, like the big names, even though I’m just a kid from Colby, Wisconsin," said Heeg. "I’m beyond proud of all my animals and all my success."
Heeg and Groovy did not win the Junior Championships, but still got the honor of scoring second in their class.