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Dairy Club visits Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario

November 21, 2014

The UW-River Falls Dairy Club took a trip to Toronto, Ontario, for the “Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.”

Forty-six Dairy Club members took the trip to Canada between Nov. 12-16, where they also viewed two different Canadian farms and Niagara Falls.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is where Canadians and international viewers can come and see horse and cow competition shows, learn about agriculture and animals.

The fair is every year, and this year the fair went from Nov. 7-16.

The Dairy Club members went to see the cow show competition.

According to Kiana Fornell, a member of the Dairy Club, some of the members are studying to be cattle judges or breed cattle.

They went to watch how the cows were being judged at the fair.

The members followed the cow show competition up to the end when one cow was crowned “Supreme Champion,” the best cow out of all the dairy cow breeds.

The Dairy Club went to see four different dairy cow shows; the black and white Holstein show, the red and white Holstein show, the Ayrshire show, and the Jersey show.

According to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair website, the dairy cows are judged in four different categories.

Judges are looking for the ideal qualities in each breed, as well as the cow’s frame, amount of milk produced, rear feet and legs, and the udders.

According to the fair website, “generally a dairy cow must possess a straight back, flat ribs, strong legs, shaped pelvic bones and smooth udder attachment.”

The Dairy Club also visited two farms in Canada. One farm was a robot herd farm, where the cows prepped and milked by a robot. The second farm was a cow herd farm where the Canadians studied cow genetics.

The Dairy Club started planning for the trip at the beginning of September. The president and vice presidents of the club reminded the members to get their passports.

Each member paid $300 which covered the bus, hotels, and the fair ticket. However, because the members are international students, they were given a pass for two free days.

According to Dairy Club first Vice President Tim Borgardt, going to the fair was to see how another country judges its cows, as well as a great way to network with other farmers from Canada, and the U.S.

Fornell says that it was great to see the Canadian farms, and that they are almost the same except for how much milk is produced.

In the U.S., farmers can milk as much as they want. However, in Canada, the farmers can only milk a certain amount of milk. If they go over that amount, then they have to dump the extra milk.

Some fun facts found on the fair website about dairy cows is that the average cow produces about 1,500 gallons every year.

Also, a cow can produce 25 gallons of saliva every day. Cows can also sleep standing up.