Girls continue family tradition

Anna and her Holstein, Eunice, left, and Julie and Holstein Daybreak.

Being raised on the farm and knowing about animals has been an advantage for Anna Gibson and Julie Gentry.

Their experience brought them first place in the recent Northeast District Livestock Judging Contest at the Lee County Agri-Center,

The girls’ involvement in 4-H has helped them develop showmanship skills in their main project, Holstein dairy cows. Showmanship skills include training the animal, knowing his linage, and being conscious of the judge’s ratings for judging,

Through their 4-H club, the Helping Hands in Guntown, they compete in other areas including bread making, dairy sweetheart and clothing selection.

Julie’s mother, Debbie Gibson Gentry and Anna’s father, Jimmy Gibson, were members of 4-H and competed in dairy cow competition when they were growing up in the same community.

The Gibsons have operated a dairy farm for 50 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Myrle Gibson are the girls’ grandparents.

The girls started out with three registered cows, Honey, Pansey and Dottie, and now have a total of 15. In preparation for showing their registered dairy cows, Julie and Anna wash them, body clip them from head to hoof, and prepare them for a thorough inspection.

Anna won first place in the grooming category at the state fair and her cow, Eunice, was selected as a junior champion. She also placed second during her second

year of showing cattle in the “Pretty Cow” contest at the state fair. She designed a blanket that presented the slogan,” Cookies and Milk, Udderly Delicious,” and she dressed like an Oreo cookie while her cow displayed the slogan.

Julie was awarded the showmanship award for presentation of the animal at the Dixie Nationals in Jackson during her first year.

She also received first place in best fitted (grooming category) at the Union County Fair last year.

Both have won the Clean Aisle Award for the past three years at the state fair in Jackson.

The girls are members of the dairy judging team where they are required to judge the animals in competition.

They are then awarded for their knowledge of the animals compared to other judging teams.

Their 4-H awareness team, which helps make the public aware of 4-H and its activities, speaks to groups such as the Tupelo Children’s Home.

Both were selected to serve on this team.

Local shows in which they have participated include the Pontotoc County, Union county, Ripley Fair, Tupelo Fair and State shows include the state fair, Dixie National, and the Northeast Mississippi District show.

Anna is a seventh grader at Baldwyn Middle School and Julie is a sixth grader.

Billie Robison of Guntown is their 4-H leader.