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The big squeeze showdown is set
Rick Bussler, Publisher
Big Squeeze, SCFF, wrestling, owatonna

For nearly a year there has been quite the barnyard ruckus brewing around Steele County.

No, it’s not some fox or other exotic animal tangling with the cows, pigs or chickens. But instead it’s our own Howard Lestrud getting all the dairy cows around the area fired up about a milking challenge.

It started last August after the Steele County Fair when Howard issued a challenge for a real milking contest between himself and yours truly. In his challenge, Howard referred to it potentially being the “battle of the century.”

Howard bragged about his days of nurturing Big Squeeze, a cow that only let her milk down for him and no one else on the family farm by Corning. My only saving grace is this took place more than 60 years ago.

Last fall the Steele County American Dairy Association jumped on board with Howard’s notion and began to put the utters in motion to make it happen.

I just received a call from Rick Balzer of the ADA Monday afternoon confirming that Howard and I are set for a contest with a live cow on Wednesday, Aug. 17 during the fair. Rumor has it we won’t be the only ones milking real cows. The fire chiefs from Steele County are also going to be trading hoses for utters to see who’s supreme when it comes to milking.

Panic is beginning to set in and I’m utterly scared of what may happen.

I have some farm experience, but it didn’t have anything to do with milking cows. I slopped the pigs, cleaned the hog pens and tossed straw bales around the barn after baling them. The cows were gone shortly after I came into the picture.

My only real milking experience came last August at the fair when I milked Bella, the fake cow. I squeezed my heart out, but it wasn’t enough to win the contest. Not sure how I really did, but let’s just say no dairy farmers rushed over to bring me on to help them with the milking chores.

Rick Balzer assured me that milking Bella should be the right amount of experience I need to pull this off with Howard. I think that I need to swing over to his farm and grab one of his robotic milkers to help me along. Maybe I can dress up the robot to be a Rick Bussler-look-alike. Nobody would notice.

The Howard vs. Rick milking contest isn’t the only new twist being provided by the ADA at this year’s fair. The ADA has an additional malt stand this year with the second one being added to the livestock barn area. Fairgoers will be able to enjoy those tasty malts no matter which side of the grounds they are on.

But back to the milking challenge for now. It will be a showdown you won’t want to miss. If anything, at least it might produce a few chuckles for you. Or better yet it may yield me as being the supreme milker over Howard.

I’m in hot pursuit of mastering my squeeze to end this barnyard ruckus once and for all.

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