10/20/2012 7:00 AM
By Marjorie Struckle New York Correspondent
MADISON, Wis. — Bryant Hill of Gilbertsville, N.Y., is smiling because of the experiences he has had recently.
Like many typical 1 2-year-old seventh-graders, he enjoys school, sports and hunting. But exhibiting dairy cattle has taken him to a new level.
Following his sister, Miranda, he began exhibiting a Holstein calf as a 4-H project. After working with the calf and showing her at the local fair, she was unable to be bred, and Bryant understood he couldn’t continue with her.
“I showed the supreme pig at the Morris Fair one year, but I don’t show livestock animals anymore because I always have to sell them,” he said.
He purchased another calf through a 4-H sale at the Otsego County Calf Sale. Born Christmas Day 2010, the calf, Horizon Phoenix Jitter, is now a winter yearling.
“If that heifer had gotten bred, I wouldn’t have bought Jitter. Someone else would have Jitter and all the opportunities she has given me,” Bryant said.
The calf was shown at the New York State Spring Show in Syracuse, followed by the local Black and White show, Farmers’ Museum Junior Livestock Show, Otsego County Fair and New York State Fair, finishing at the top of her class in all of them.
They then went on to the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, Pa., finishing at the top of the class again. Bryant was noticed by other cattle exhibitors and encouraged to attend the World Dairy Expo. Bryant attended the expo with his father, John.
Bryant enthusiastically fed Jitter each morning and evening at World Dairy Expo.
“It took a lot of time to train her to walk, but now she has let me travel all across the country,” he said. “It (the expo) is nothing like I expected.”
Bryant spent his free time observing, asking questions, visiting vendors with his dad and meeting lots of people.
He participated in showmanship and at each increased level of difficulty he improved.
“I like the challenge in competing. I like showmanship a lot,” he said.
Bryant and Jitter finished sixth in a class of 29 animals at the expo. Bryant received a medallion on a neck ribbon and is now eligible to apply for an All-New York honor.
“Now I just need to wait till she calves March 9th,” Bryant said.
Both Bryant and John said they enjoyed working with the crew in the barn and meeting many people from across the country.
“I have seen some of the people at the other shows and met a lot of people,” Bryant said.
But, he continued with a smile, “My favorite show is Morris, the county fair, where all my friends are.”