Sam Luptak Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
An annual Lawrence County Fair tradition helped kick off the 2012 event yesterday.
It was the day when the local 4-H named its junior dairy supreme champion, with 20-year-old Kaitlin Martin of Volant taking top honors for her Ayershire cow, Wren.
Martin comes from a long line of dairy farmers. She is a part of the eighth generation to raise cows on her family’s dairy farm.
Martin and her family also have a long history at the fair. She has shown cows since she was 8 years old — the earliest 4-H allows a youth to show. Her family’s history with the fair goes back even further. They’ve shown cows there for decades, and have been in the same corner barn since 1969.
Martin’s grandfather, David, was director of the fair for about 25 years, Kaitlin’s father added.
Martin herself is getting ready to return to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is a 4.0 student. She will be a sophomore studying nursing.
While her future lies in nursing, she still loves to raise and show her cows.
“I grew up on a dairy farm,” she said. “I have always been around cows. They are in my blood.”
She did experiment for a couple of years with sheep, “but I didn’t like them as well.” she said.
“Once a cow is broken, they are easy to lead. A sheep is never easy to lead, you always must pull and fight with them. The cow I won with today leads very easy.”
This is not Martin’s first taste of success showing her animals. She and her sister have a host of ribbons and awards, and previously she has had the champion dairy heifer, but this was her first time to have achieved the title of supreme champion.
Martin is humble about the prestigious accomplishment.
“All it really means is that out of all the 4-H cows that showed today, a judge thought mine was the best,” she said.
Martin’s family has been getting the cows ready to show since Wednesday. Many hours go into the preparation of each cow.
“It is a lot of work, but very rewarding once you are in the show ring,” she said. “I would not be able to do it without the help of my dad, my uncle, my cousins and my sister. They are all part of this, too.”