Amelia Karhoff looked over at the judge busy visiting with another youth in the show ring, and she took the opportunity to snuggle her arm around her bucket calf’s neck and give it a generous hug.
She straightened back up, looked adoringly at the calf, smiled and then scrubbed its head softly with her hand, as an adult would a small child, before checking again to see where the judge was in the line.
At 8 years old, this was Amelia’s first year to show a calf.
“It’s my first time to show anything,” she said excitedly.
She used the lead rope to pull her calf closer to her.
“It’s a female,” Amelia said. “Her name is 900.”
Her mother, Tish Karhoff, said Amelia’s sister, Jocelyn, suggested she name her calf Earhart, because her name is Amelia, but Amelia liked 900.
“We had another calf named 800 that they called 1-800,” Mrs. Karhoff said. “So Amelia wanted to call her 900.”
Together, Amelia, accompanied by 900, won the reserve champion in interview in her age division.
The purple ribbon hung from her back pocket.
“And I won a feed bucket,” she said proudly, before going on to talk about her other events she was participating in as a member of Timber Hill 4-H.
A short time later, Jocelyn walked out of the arena with a blue ribbon in the 11-12 age division for the bucket calf show.
This was Jocelyn’s second year to show a calf.
Waiting for her next event, the peewee division, Amelia stood with her show stick in one hand and the lead to her calf, Little Red, in her other. Little Red stood beside her, well behaved, waiting patiently as she visited.
“I like to train them because training is the funnest part,” Jocelyn said. “You spend about every day of the summer and part of school time training them. Because if you don’t train them ordinarily, they will get lazy and they will not do what you want. And then, when they grow up, you can’t really train them and they are too big to handle.”