9/15/2012 7:00 AM
By Marjorie Struckle New York Correspondent
RHINEBECK, N.Y. — Never giving up earned Ethan Coutu of Morris, Conn., the honor of master showman at the recent Dutchess County Fair.
The 15-year-old exhibited his Jersey, Dreamroad Govenor Cadillac, in the open and non-4-H youth classes at the dairy shows, placing second in the fall heifer calf division and being pulled out for champion to the same animal each time.
Coutu finished first in his age class for showmanship by controlling an unruly heifer that others were unable to handle. The first-place contestants from each of the 8- to 18-year-old classes competed again for the master showman title.
Another grueling hour of intense competition tired the showmen and the animals. Judges Rebecca Ferry and Sandy Boardman both credited Coutu for continuing to do his best, even when they sorted out the top showmen and placed him at a lower level in what appeared to be the final placings.
Little did the showmen know the judges were testing the participants to see who gave up when they appeared to be finally placed.
Coutu’s heifer, born September 2011, is one of 11 animals he has at home, including cows, heifers, calves and beef steer. He participates in 4-H dairy bowl and has placed first the past two year at the state dairy judging contest.
Coutu is the son of Dan and Susan Coutu, has a twin sister, Hannah, and 17-year-old brother, Jacob.
At home, Coutu does the morning and evening milking and assists with the harvest of wrapped baleage and dry hay. He researches the breeding bulls available and discusses it with his father to purchase the all sexed semen he uses on his animals. With the use of sexed semen, Coutu said they will have a bull calf about every other year, which they raise for beef.
With a goal of owning and operating his own dairy someday, Coutu seeks the knowledge of other dairymen and absorbs the information.
He also participated in the Goshen (Conn.) Fair earlier this month and plans to show at the Eastern States Exposition.
Coutu said he enjoys “showing and promoting agriculture.”