September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.

A day in the life of the Molitor girls

Show preparations make for a chaotic day on Aug. 1
Maria (left) and Angela Molitor (right) clean up the barn and bed the stalls as Maggie and Abby wash the cows on the morning of Aug. 1. <br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO BY JENN JANAK
Maria (left) and Angela Molitor (right) clean up the barn and bed the stalls as Maggie and Abby wash the cows on the morning of Aug. 1. <br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->PHOTO BY JENN JANAK

By by Jenn Janak- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

SAUK CENTRE, Minn. - The Molitor sisters were up before sunrise on Aug. 1, preparing for the Stearns County 4-H dairy show.
For Abby (17), Angela (13) and Maggie (11), showing their dairy cattle is just another advantage of living on a farm.
"Our older sister, Leah, got us started in showing," Angela said. "We've been doing it ever since."
The Molitors, in partnership with their uncle, Tom, live on a 230-cow organic dairy in Stearns County near Rockville, Minn. They also run 700 acres of cropland.
The day started as Abby, Angela and Maggie crawled out of bed at 4:45 a.m. and made their way down to the dairy barn at the fairgrounds to begin washing the fair cows.
During the week of the county fair, the Molitor sisters stayed overnight in their camper, while their father kept up with the dairy at home.
"The girls have it down to a science," said their father, Joe. "I don't do any work with the fair, just the extra stuff."
This year, the sisters brought 20 cows from their farm; 12 of which they showed themselves and the other eight were being leased to young members of the Sauk Valley 4-H club.
"The best part of the 4-H dairy project is getting to hang out with all the other 4-Hers," Maggie said.
As Maggie and Abby began taking the animals out to the wash racks, Angela started cleaning the stalls with the help of their older sister, Maria (19).
This would have been Maria's last year showing, however, she opted not to after spending most of her summer studying cosmetology at Ridgewater College in Willmar. She will be graduating from the program in November.
"I was way too busy with school to show cattle this year," Maria said. "But I didn't have the heart to end it."
As the cows came back one by one from being washed, Angela prepared to give them grain and hay.
The sun arose in the sky and the radio was turned up loud for all to hear.
Nearly two and a half hours later all the cows were washed and laying in fresh straw. Maggie carried clean pails and brushes in from the wash rack.
Angela and Maria quickly swept the aisle and around their tack area before heading back to the camper to join their sisters for breakfast.
When 8 a.m. rolled around, the Molitor sisters were back in the barn ready to start toplines and any last minute touch ups.
Maria took the time to show Angela and Maggie how to properly fit their calves.
"I really appreciate my older sisters," Maggie said. "They help me clip, wash and teach me what to do with the toplines."
Once Maggie was done fitting her heifers, she was in charge of watching the cows to make sure they stayed clean until the show.
By 9:30 a.m., all the cows had been fitted and were ready for the 4-H dairy show.
"It's all pretty calm right now, but an hour before the show everything gets so crazy," Maggie said.
The Molitor sisters sat around the tack area with other members of their club and quizzed each other on dairy knowledge, mentally preparing for the show.
"It's really a fun experience to show with my sisters," Angela said. "It's nice to know my sisters are around if I need help."
Abby added, "The friends you make in the barns makes the experience ten times better."
Time passed and it was finally time for Abby, Angela and Maggie to get dressed in their show whites.
Their family arrived and watched the cows while the girls ran to get changed.
At 11:30 a.m., the family grabbed a quick lunch that a fellow 4-H parent had made for the entire club.
"Show time is such a stressful time for everyone," Angela said. "Someone has to watch the cows while we change clothes and swap cows throughout the day."
Minutes before 12:30 p.m., the Molitor girls are ready to go.
Abby expressed her appreciation for being able to show off her dairy cows at the fair.
"The greatest feeling is when you're in the show ring and the thrill of receiving a ribbon," Abby said. "It's so rewarding and worth all the hard work."
As the show went on, Maria passed out ribbons as a Stearns County Dairy Princess.
The day came to an end with Abby, Angela and Maggie receiving State Fair trips, however, Maggie couldn't accept hers, as she is still too young.
As the Molitor sisters picked up after the show, they reminisced about the experience, knowing that it's just another day in the life of young dairy enthusiasts - and they get to do it all again in two weeks at the Great Minnesota Get Together.[[In-content Ad]]


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