Vernon DeWerff was grateful for the help of second and third generation DeWerff dairymen, for it allowed him to continue exhibiting Holstein cattle at the Kansas State Fair. Known to be far and above the longest exhibitor of Holsteins at the state fair, if not the longest running exhibitor in Kansas, Vernon and his family enjoyed his 69th year of exhibiting livestock at the state fair in Hutchinson this past week. And a special day it was on “show day”, Sept. 12th in the Prairie Pavilion. Aside from winning three classes on the day, the culmination was being named Premier Breeder of the show.
While looking forward to his 80th birthday in a month, Vernon is still actively engaged with the cattle, but now enjoys a little different role at the fair. Always used to being on the halter in the show ring, he’s passed that part on to his son and grandkids, Seth and Kristi, and has become more of a rail leaner over the years, yet still beams in seeing them carry on the tradition. However, Vernon is still quick to be out in the ring for the group classes, lining up and positioning the animals so they are at their best when the judge’s eye is upon them. Additional help, teamwork, and support comes from Vernon’s wife of 60 years, Marian, and daughter-in-law, Terri—they are just as involved and can always be counted on for capturing the moment on camera.
“He may not be out there showing and doing the heavy work now, but Pops is still the brain trust of the operation,” credits his son, Wayne. “He’s got a wealth of knowledge to share and a great deal to contribute to not only our situation, but to the Kansas Holstein breeders as well,” Wayne added.
Show day results for Ell-Bar: 5th place Sr. Heifer Calf and 3rd place 4-H exhibit was Ell-Bar Dundee Vienna, owned and shown by Kristi; 3rd place Winter Yrlg. Heifer, Ell-Bar Beauty Ivory; 4th place Sr. Yrlg. Heifer and 2nd in 4-H, Bay-Ell Dundee Allie - again owned and shown by Kristi; 1st Sr. 3 Yr. Old Cow, Ell-Bar Roy Jody; 4th 4 Yr. Old Cow, Ell-Bar Dundee Victory; 1st 5 Yr. Old Cow, Ell-Bar Ivan JoJo; and in the groups, 1st place Daughter-Dam, and 2nd place 3 Best Females.
“Who knows what will happen in 2012, but Lord willing, we’ll be at the state fair again to enjoy year number 70. Wayne and Kristi have already informed me of that,” Vernon concluded.