Supreme Cow award remains in Indiana

Before the World Dairy Expo this month, there was the Indiana State Fair. And for just the second time, the Indiana State Fair named a Supreme Cow as champion over all breeds exhibited during the open dairy show.

“It’s something we started last year,” says Marty Matlock, Knightstown, one of the managers of the show. Marty’s son, Micah, an Indiana FFA state officer just one year ago, participated in the open dairy show.

Key Points

Supreme Cow named for only the second time at the Indiana State Fair.

The Indiana cow beat tough competition from other states to win the title.

The Blessing Family of Fort Wayne exhibited the Supreme Cow.

“We thought it would be good to have all breed champions compete for the top honor. Before last year, we simply named a champion in each breed and didn’t show for Supreme Champion,” Matlock says.

Matlock and his crew scrounged up money for awards the first time around. This time Indiana milk producers’ groups representing Indiana dairy families sponsored the event. The breed champions split $1,200, with $500 going to the Supreme Champion.


Four judges evaluated hundreds of head of cattle during the morning and early afternoon. The Pepsi Coliseum, under the direction of Stan Poe, an Indiana State Fair director in charge of the building, was split into four arenas.

Once all the champions were picked, the champion of each breed was called back. The four judges worked as a team. When they arrived at a winner, it was the Brown Swiss, shown by Steve Blessing, Fort Wayne.

Not all cows in the competition were from Indiana. The champion Holstein cow came all the way from Texas. The Blessings have a long history of raising and milking Brown Swiss dairy cattle. They have developed a successful operation which has transcended generations.

The open dairy show was the only dairy show held at the 2011 Indiana State Fair. The 4-H dairy show was canceled after the tragic stage collapse at the grandstands. The controversial call that wiped out the dairy show, commercial lamb show and selection of grand champion ewe and the 4-H goat show is still reverberating among 4-H’ers and parents across the state.

Other champions

Reserve supreme champion went to the Holstein, exhibited by Herman Hoffman and family, Conroe, Texas. Honorable mention went to the Ayrshire, also owned and shown by Hoffman farms.

The Milking Shorthorn champion in the open show was exhibited by Jacob Achen, Ambia. Darlene Moser, Pleasant Lake, showed the champion Guernsey. White Jersey Farms, New Castle, exhibited the champion Jersey female.


And the winner is ... the Brown Swiss shown by Steve Blessing. Here’s the happy owner and his cow after she was named Supreme Cow.

This article published in the October, 2011 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2011.