The Dairy Show, sponsored by the Cleveland Rotary Club, debuted in September 1944 on the Courthouse Square. It subsequently moved to various sites until it found a home at the Hale Center.
This is the 67th year for the show. It is thought to be the longest-running civic club sponsorship of 4-H and FFA activities in Tennessee, as well as the longest continuing project among Rotary Clubs in the state.
The event offers an opportunity for youngsters in the fourth to twelfth grades from 4-H and Future Farmers of America to exhibit project animals they have cared for during their growth. The exhibitors are judged on their training of the animals, showmanship, the animals’ overall appearance and grooming.
The Junior Dairy Show is coordinated by Rotarian Kim Frady, who is director of the University of Tennessee Extension for Bradley County. For many years the event’s organizers were former Rotary Club members Bill Hale and John Paysinger. Following their tenure, Frady and Ginger Wilson Buchanan co-directed it, until Frady became the sole coordinator.
“We enjoy the Dairy Show, and we’re surprised at times by the number of guests who bring small children to view it, children who’ve never seen a cow up close and personal,” Frady said. “Besides the guidance the judging gives the participants, it’s an educational experience for visitors.” The event is open to anyone who wishes to attend, and there is no charge.
Separate age-group competitions take place for juniors (grades 4-5), junior high (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12). A special category, called Budding Clovers, permits the entry of children who have not reached grade 4. The young people this year will show various breeds, including Jersey, Holstein, Guernsey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, and Milking Shorthorns.
The judge for this year’s exhibition is Whitey Daughtery, well-known dairyman from McMinn County. The public is invited.
Last year’s winners in the Dairy Show include, front from left, Julie Walker, judge; Justin Beaty, junior showmanship winner; and, back, Cole Beaty, junior high category award, and Josh Hannah, senior winner. They are standing with Rotarian Stephen Carroll.