The Noble family (from left) – Drew, Troy, Ainsley, Jaime, Macie and Dennis – attend the Wisconsin Holstein Association District 3 Show June 19 in Lancaster, Wisconsin. The Nobles milk 370 registered Holsteins at Nobland Farms near Lancaster. Not pictured is Dennis’ wife, Rita.
PHOTO BY DANIELLE NAUMAN
The Noble family (from left) – Drew, Troy, Ainsley, Jaime, Macie and Dennis – attend the Wisconsin Holstein Association District 3 Show June 19 in Lancaster, Wisconsin. The Nobles milk 370 registered Holsteins at Nobland Farms near Lancaster. Not pictured is Dennis’ wife, Rita. PHOTO BY DANIELLE NAUMAN
    LANCASTER, Wis. – Troy and Jaime Noble, of Nobland Farms near Lancaster, enjoy sharing their love and passion for registered dairy cattle with their three children: Drew, 18, Ainsley, 16, and Macie, 13.
    The Noble family is avid participants in dairy cattle shows, exhibiting their registered Holsteins. After a spring filled with cancellations of county and state fairs and larger shows like World Dairy Expo due to the novel coronavirus, the Nobles were happy to load their trailer with eight animals and head to the nearby Grant County Fairgrounds to take part in the Wisconsin Holstein Association District 3 Show June 19 in Lancaster.
    The day turned out well for the Nobles, with the highlight of the day being a win in the winter calf class for Ainsley’s calf, Nobland Addison Dixie-Red. Dixie went on to be named the reserve junior champion of the youth show by judge Mandi Bue of Kaukauna.
    The day started out differently than a normal day at Nobland Farms, where they milk 370 cows along with Troy’s parents, Dennis and Rita.
    The Nobles took their cattle to the fairgrounds June 18. The siblings started show preparations by hitting the washrack to scrub their animals around 5 a.m., while their parents took care of chores at home, starting around 4 a.m. As soon as they had wrapped up their morning chores, Troy and Jaime arrived at the fairgrounds to help get everything ready for the 9 a.m. show.
    “We finished what we had to and left some things to finish after the show,” Jaime said.
    The morning was a hustle and bustle of final fitting preparations and filling the cattle with beet pulp and hay. Everyone pitched in, brushing, clipping and tossing feed to hungry heifers, including friend Ryan Wetter, who Troy said is like family.
    “The kids handle most of it now,” Jaime said. “It’s kind of a weird feeling, not to be needed for most of the work getting everything ready to go.”
    The family had two calves in the third class of the day. As the second class entered the ring, two white, speckled calves were outfitted with show halters. Their tails were fluffed, and they were given a final spritz of oil for that showring-ready sheen.
    Ainsley and Macie, already wearing their white show pants, donned their show harnesses as Jaime double-checked to make sure each had the correct exhibitor number for each calf. The girls headed down the barn walk, weaving through other exhibitors preparing their animals, on their way to the show ring.
    As the judge, Mandi Bue, sorted her way through the class of 19 calves, Troy came up to the ring to take a quick peek at how the girls’ calves stacked up among the competition. Then he headed back to the barn, where he worked with Drew and Ryan to continue the assembly line of heifer preparations. He made it back to the ring, bringing their fall calf, just in time to see Ainsley lead Dixie out on top of the class.  
    The calves fared well in the competition for the girls, who each worked hard to show their calves to their best. Ainsley was pulled in line early, and Macie was not far behind with her calf. As the judge sent her selections to the final line up, she considered Ainsley’s Red and White calf, and gave her the nod to the first position.
    As the morning continued, the Noble kids continued exhibiting their string of bred and owned animals, garnering several top-10 ribbons. At the end of the heifer show, the family took their three best heifers to compete in the junior best three females class, placing second.
    Showing their family’s dairy cattle has been a long-time pursuit for the Noble kids. As the youngest, Macie said she thinks she first took ahold of a show halter when she was 4 years old.  
    And, Ainsley and Macie said showmanship is their favorite part of showing cows. Each won their showmanship divisions, earning the opportunity to compete in the state-wide contest held at the Wisconsin Championship Show in August.
    Drew enjoys being in the showring, but he also enjoys the process of preparing them in the barn.
    The Nobles took mostly heifers to the show but also took a milking cow – a junior 2-year-old. They wrapped up their day shortly after noon. Once the cow was finished and milked out, they took two of their heifers to livestock photographer Lea McCullough Jordan to have professional photos made for advertising and marketing purposes.
    “We just brought mostly heifers so that things could be a little more relaxed, and we could be done by around noon,” Troy said. “The morning is a rush, but it always seems crazier trying to get cows ready while you’re showing heifers.”
    Once the photos were done, the Nobles began packing up their equipment and sent a load home before they took a break to watch the remainder of the milking females show. They headed home just in time to start afternoon chores.
    “When we got home, we had to catch up on what didn’t get done before the show and do the regular chores, too,” Jaime said. “So besides putting stuff away and washing out toplines, we were busy.”
    Jaime and Ainsley attended to feeding calves. Drew and Dennis finished mixing feed and brought in round bales. And because things never stop on a dairy farm, show day also fell on the same day as their herd’s reproduction work using an ovsynch program. They had 23 cows for Troy and Macie to breed, and Macie to enter into the computer.
    June 19 ended with memories made and successes that had been earned for the Noble family, having been able to take part in one of their favorite family activities, one that just a few weeks ago had an uncertain future for 2020. Each member of the family echoed the sentiment that while they love exhibiting their animals, the friends they see and people they meet at the shows are what make it the rewarding experience it is.