A young cow handler gets some tips from the judge.

Today’s Fun Friday Photo has us going back to the fair again; this time it’s the Woodstock (CT) Fair that happens annually every Labor Day weekend. Founded in the 1800s, Woodstock Fair is one of those true agricultural fairs where cow and sheep judging are competitive endeavors, and growing giant gourds is still worth some bragging rights.

If you know me, then you know that I love fair season. I totally get sucked in by the questionable fried foods, the rickety rides on the midway, and especially the farm animals. I’ve always wondered how people got into showing cows and sheep, and I got a glimpse of the answer at the cattle show ring at Woodstock Fair: they get started when they’re really young. Normally, the cow and sheep judging happens quite quickly. The handlers bring the animals out, stage them in the proper pose, a judge walks by and makes a few comments, and then a winner is announced.

With these younger handlers, there was definitely more help and kinder smiles from the judges. It was so cute to see these nervous handlers with their calf, waiting patiently as the judge came by to offer them individual tips on how to get better at showing. The emcee also got on the mic to offer helpful tips like “if you give your cow a haircut, he’ll show better!” So there you have it… word to live by, really.