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Deer Lake teen Tamarah Gillard has a way with cows

Tamarah Gillard is seen here with Priceless, the calf she'll be showing for Headline Holsteins at the Humber Valley Agricultural Fall Fair in Deer Lake this weekend.
Tamarah Gillard is seen here with Priceless, the calf she'll be showing for Headline Holsteins at the Humber Valley Agricultural Fall Fair in Deer Lake this weekend. - Photo by Roxanne Ryland

Tamarah Gillard is hoping the calf she’ll be showing for Headline Holsteins at the Humber Valley Agricultural Fall Fair in Deer Lake this follows weekend in the hoof prints of her mother.

Priceless’s mom won overall cow last year, so Gillard is confident in her chances.

Gillard, 14, is one of a number of young people who have volunteered to show some of the farm’s dairy cows and calves.

It’s her first year with Headline Holsteins. For the last three years she helped out at Ashland Farms Inc. in Cormack where she worked this summer in the barn helping care for the cows.

“I really got into knowing cows,” said Gillard. “I guess I’ve got a feeling for animals.”

Her list of former pets includes three dogs, a lizard, fish and a hamster.

Getting to show a cow is something Gillard said she wanted to experience and she’s grateful to Pauline Duivenvoorden, one of the owners of Headline Holsteins, for the opportunity.

Duivenvoorden said there is a bit a work to be done to get a cow or calf ready for a show.

The cow has to be taught how to lead on a halter. “So that she’s very calm and comfortable and she knows that when we’re trying to walk with her she’s very comfortable with the person on the lead and walks very co-operatively,” said Duivenvoorden.

“They become very trainable as they trust the people that are working with them.”

A bath and a haircut are also a part of the process of getting them ready for a show.

Gillard had been matched with a different cow first, one they thought would walk good, but it didn’t and so she was put with Priceless.

“They all have their own personality,” said Gillard. “When other people are around she gets spooked, but it’s not the same when I go around her.”

So, it didn’t take long before she found the best technique on how to walk her.

“I pull her a little bit and release. I just do that and she’ll continue walking.” But if she does it a different way Priceless won’t walk.

The fall fair opens at 7:15 p.m. tonight and the dairy show will run from 9 a.m. to about 3:15 p.m. on Saturday.

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