Mid-Atlantic milking show will be part of 2018 State Fair

state fair of virginiaThe State Fair of Virginia has been chosen to host the American Milking Devon Mid-Atlantic Regional Show in conjunction with its Dairy Cattle Show Sept. 28-30.

“It’s a big honor to be chosen to have this competition hosted during the State Fair,” said Glenn Martin, director of livestock and equine events. “This shows the growth we’ve had in the program.”

Richard Larson of Old Gjerpen Farm in Culpeper County raises American Milking Devons as part of his farm’s rare breed conservation efforts. Martin said Larson was instrumental in getting the regional event at the State Fair.

“We sell cows and heifers mostly to families looking for a milk cow that is an easy keeper,” Larson explained. “We’ve shown our Devons at the State Fair for the past two years and will again this year.”

Larson said he anticipates a strong turnout of Milking Devon breeders and cattle for the event, which starts at 1 p.m. Sept. 29, and the Devon breed standard scoring of individual animals, which begins at 9 a.m. Sept 30. The breed standard scoring competition will be informative for those interested in learning more about the historic breed, he added.

“This regional gathering of breeders and their cattle at the 2018 State Fair is a unique opportunity to learn more about the breed up-close and personal,” Larson noted.

Milking Devon cattle first arrived in North America in 1623 from Devonshire, England. They are a tri-purpose breed with fewer than 2,000 registered in the U.S. today. While not well known outside of the Northeast, the cattle’s milk is used for making butter and cheese.

The breed performs best in a grass-based environment, routinely producing up to 6,000 pounds of milk per lactation. Their milk also is especially high in omega-3 fats. The Milking Devon breed can produce milk for up to 20 years, Larson explained. “These genetic traits make the Milking Devon an excellent breed for families.”

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