While most people think of going to the county fair for the corn dogs, fried oreos and carnival rides, historically county fairs throughout the country celebrate agriculture. This year’s Columbia County Fair organized by the Columbia County Agricultural Society is no different. The Skoda family of Taghkanic, who own and operate Triple Creek Farms were there to show their cows and honor their family tradition of breeding and raising perfect dairy cows. The kids, Brayden and Lydia Skoda and Bella VanSchaik joined dozens of 4H kids preparing their cows for months for the annual tradition of the county fair. Rachel Skoda, Mom to Bella was at the fairgrounds in Chatham every morning at 6 a.m. to clean the cows and get them ready for a day of meeting the public. She and Taghkanic Town Supervisor, Ryan Skoda, Dad to Brayden and Lydia and his wife, Crystil Lee spent their time clipping, brushing and bathing the show cows. There is also a lot of prep work done at home, months before the fair opens to prepare the cows for being handled and for all the new faces that they will interact with each day.
On Friday, Bella and her calf Uni, placed 6th for the showmanship class & 4th in the Holstein spring calf class. And Brayden and his calf Ruby won the title, Junior Champion!
On Saturday it was time for the Guernseys and Ryan and Crystil Lee’s turn to showcase their cows. Ryan was on the cattle judging team at SUNY-Cobleskill and knows just what the judges are looking for. And the results showed the excellent nutrition and breeding programs at Triple Creek Farm as they earned high praise from the judges:
Sapphire, 4th place, Holstein spring calf
Taffy, 1st place, Holstein winter calf and Junior Champion (breed)
Blossom, 2nd place Holstein spring yearling
Dandelion, 2nd place, Guernsey spring calf
Ruby, 1st place Guernsey winter calf, Junior Champion (breed),
Supreme Junior Champion (all breeds), Grand Champion (breed)
Tiger Lily, 1st place Guernsey fall calf, Reserve Junior Champion (breed)
Attagirl, 1st place Holstein 3year old and Honorable Mention Senior Champion
Even though Ryan and the rest of the Skoda family have only been showing at the fair for four (4) years, it is something he’s wanted to participate in since he was young. He and the other Skodas are not only enjoying the hard work it takes to be successful at the fair, but they are passing on their passion to their children. It is truly a family affair!