Cattle

Wisconsin wouldn’t be America’s Dairyland without our cattle. Each year, approximately 1,100 dairy cattle and 500 beef cattle are shown by their exhibitors at the Wisconsin State Fair.

The Junior Dairy Cattle Show (Aug. 1-3) is the largest of its kind throughout the nation.

Read on below to learn more about cattle terminology, where you can find them at the Fair, and the type of competitions they are shown in during their stay.

Cattle at the Wisconsin State Fair

Quick Cattle Facts:

Key Cattle Terminology

  • Bovine: the scientific name for cattle
  • Bull: a mature male bovine
  • Cow: a mature female bovine that has given birth to a calf
  • Calf: a young bovine
  • Heifer: a young female bovine which has not yet given birth to a calf
  • Steer: a castrated male bovine
  • Beef Cattle: cattle raised for meat production
  • Dairy Cattle: cattle raised for milk production
  • Herd: refers to a group of cattle

Common Breeds Shown at State Fair

  • Beef Cattle Breeds:
    • Angus (red angus shown in photo above), Hereford, Simmental, Shorthorn, Limousin, Maine-Anjou
  • Dairy Cattle Breeds:
    • Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Milking Shorthorn, Red & White

Where Can Cattle Be Found?:

Lower Cattle Barn and Upper Cattle Barns

Cattle are shown by their exhibitors at the Fair all 11 days from Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 11.

Cattle will stay in the Lower Cattle Barn and the Upper Cattle Barns as follows:

Aug. 1-4 Dairy Cattle
(Aug. 4 closes @ Noon)
Aug. 5-8 Beef Cattle
(Aug. 8 closes @ 1 pm)
Aug. 9-11 Beef Cattle & Dairy Cattle
(Aug. 11 closes @ 3 pm)

The Lower Cattle Barn and Upper Cattle Barns are open daily from 9 am – 9 pm except where noted in the table above.

Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard

Cattle can also be seen every day during the Fair from 9 am – 9 pm in the Compeer Financial Discovery Barnyard and in the new Dairy Lane exhibit.

Milking Parlor

Plus, check out the Milking Demonstrations at the Milking Parlor that occur three times daily.

Cattle Event Descriptions:

All cattle shows are held in the Case IH Coliseum.

Stop by the Case IH Coliseum to see these events:

  • Showmanship: the exhibitor is evaluated on their knowledge of and their ability to handle and maneuver their animal
  • Performance: this competition culminates at the State Fair with a visual appraisal ranking of each beef cattle. In addition, each beef cattle is also rated on its weight gain over a set period of time along with the overall body composition in terms of lean muscle to fat ratio.
  • Market Stock: beef cattle are evaluated on their idealness for meat production, the overall correctness of their body proportions, and how well their characteristics match the standard for their breed
  • Breeding Stock: beef cattle are evaluated on the presence of desired maternal attributes, the overall correctness of their body proportions, and how well their characteristics match the standard for their breed
  • Dairy Cow Show: mature dairy cows are evaluated on whether they have full and balanced udder, the overall correctness of their body proportions, and how well their characteristics match the standard for their breed
  • Dairy Heifer Show: dairy heifers are evaluated on the presence of desired maternal attributes, the overall correctness of their body proportions, and how well their characteristics match the standard for their breed
  • Grand Champion Selection: the judge selects an overall champion within a specific type, breed or gender of cattle
  • Supreme Champion Selection: the judge selects an overall champion across all types, breeds or genders of cattle