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County Fair hosts cow milking contest

Morgan Paulson, one of the dairy princesses, milks a cow in the cow milking contest Friday at the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds in Willmar. Clay Conover / Tribune1 / 3
A cow stands ready to be milked in the milking contest Friday at on the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds. Clay Conover / Tribune2 / 3
Gene Gatewood announces the conditions of the Kandiyohi County Fair's cow milking contest while holding a jar into which contestants will milk the cows Friday at the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds. Clay Conover / Tribune3 / 3

The Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds was the site of a popular event Friday, the cow milking contest.

Six teams of three milked three large dairy cattle. They all had 20 seconds to milk the three cows as fast as possible. The team who got the most milk won.

This year winning team was Anez Consulting.

The trick to getting the most milk out of the cows is two fold, said Gene Gatewood, a board member of the Kandiyohi County Dairy Association who helps run the cow milking contest.

"Don't be the first milker, because the cow has to let her milk down," he said. "You don't want to just squeeze a little bit. You want to get a hold in and get the milk out."

The Kandiyohi County Dairy Association has been hosting the cow milking contest for about ten years. Each year, they try to get in new teams.

"We try to involve people that normally don't have anything to do with cows," Gatewood said. "It wouldn't be nearly as much fun if we had a bunch of dairy farmers out here doing it. We try to get different people and various organizations just to come and try it."

Milking a cow for 20 seconds doesn't yield that much milk, but each contestant gets a pound of cheese at the end of the contest.

"Some people take it seriously," Gatewood said. "But, for the most part, we just try to have fun. It's just something to get people out."

Today is the last day of the fair. Today's events include the Master Gardening Show, a Lego building contest and the NTPA Tractor Pull.