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Teams compete in cow milking contest

WILLMAR -- Seven teams battled in front of roughly 60 spectators to determine the greatest cow milker Friday afternoon at the Kandiyohi County Fair. The competitors crouched low and pinched hard, willing to stick their faces near the cows' imposi...

Chris Gradient
Chris Gradient from team Haug Implement gets acclimated with his cow as he milks 3.2 inches into a bottle in 20 seconds, second most of any individual at the Kandiyohi County Fair Friday afternoon. Today is the last day of the fair. (JACOB BELGUM | TRIBUNE)

WILLMAR - Seven teams battled in front of roughly 60 spectators to determine the greatest cow milker Friday afternoon at the Kandiyohi County Fair.
The competitors crouched low and pinched hard, willing to stick their faces near the cows’ imposing legs.
Teams had three milkers who each received 20 seconds to squeeze as much milk as they could into a small bottle.
The cows were occasionally restless and were kind enough to “freshen” the atmosphere during the pre-milk festivities.
Haug Implement, the second-to-last team to compete, captured the top prize - a $25 Applebee’s gift card for each member - by a mere one-fifth of an inch over Heritage Bank.
Haug figured its position toward the end of the show gave it an advantage.
“(The cows) are warmed up,” Britta Willenbring said.
The Haug team won for the second time in three years.
Heritage snatched the victory last year.
Haug jokingly revealed its desire to exact revenge.
“If you ain’t first you’re last,” Haug member Brandon Huls joked. “We don’t like to lose at Haug Implement,” Chris Gadient added, laughing.
Heritage looked like the favorite after coaxing 4.1 inches of milk from the cow, but Gadient milked 3.2 inches himself to catapult Haug to victory.
Willmar’s Dairy Princesses finished in a distant third place.

Haug Implement
The champions from Haug Implement, from left, Britta Willenbring, Brandon Huls and Chris Gradient, each clutch a pound of cheese which was awarded to all competitors. (JACOB BELGUM | TRIBUNE)

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