Cows still have to be milked at Wisconsin Valley Fair

155th Wisconsin Valley Fair
Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 7:46 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The cows have arrived at the Wisconsin Valley Fair, and all that milk must go somewhere. It’s a process that changes from the way it is traditionally done on the farm.

Abigail Hovland is a heard manager with Hovland Holsteins in Athens and has 16 cows at the fair. The cows are milked in the milking parlor with automatic takeoff machines.

“You bring her to the milking parlor, and then you prep her to clean any bacteria or anything that’s on her quarter. So, it helps ensure clean milk,” said Abigail Hovland, Herd Manager at Hovland Holsteins LLC.

She said she milks her cows, including Tempe, at 6 a.m. at the farm, but at the fair it is a little bit different. For the cows to look their best during the show, she milks at 8:00 a.m. during the fair. The milk goes into a bulk tank where it can be kept cool, and then it goes on the milk truck.

“It usually comes every morning. It was there around 8:30/9:00 [Thursday] morning, then it goes to the milk plant where it can be used for any type of dairy product,” said Hovland.

The milk sales help profits for cow owners and ensure better health and management for the animals.

Judging continues Friday for dairy cattle and horses. It starts at 8:30 a.m. Judging for poultry and swine starts at 9:00 a.m.

The Wisconsin Valley Fair is being held in Marathon Park through Sunday. Marathon Park is located at 1201 Stewart Avenue, Wausau.