It all started when Phyllis Agnew, then Gerner, began showing here with her parents, Willard and Sylvia. She now shares the same excitement for Expo with her children and grandchildren.
For the Agnews it has grown from just the family showing together, to a lot of friends who tie in. “The fewest we have ever brought is two heifers and this year we have 21 in our string,” shared Katie. “But, since 1978, my family hasn’t missed one Expo.”
When asked what it’s like having everyone at Expo working together, they say it gets a little hectic at times. “Everybody has a job at the show and for the most part we stick to doing our specific jobs,” Katie said. “But Tom, who is the younger brother, still tries to tell me what to do and how to do it.”
Katie is in charge of washing, while her brother Tom takes care of bedding. Mapleton Valley Farms is only an hour away, in Oconomowoc, Wis., so Pat and Phyllis take turns staying home to do farm chores.
As for the grandchildren, they may be too young to show, but that doesn’t stop them from helping. Tom’s two children are Bryn, who is 7 years old, and Blake, who is 5 years old. They both are excited to start showing and help with watching the cows and keeping the bedding pack clean. “They are always in the barn trying to help out their grandparents and us,” said Katie.
All in all, the Agnews enjoy the quality family time spent at Expo and look forward to exhibiting here for another 30 years.
Christy Achen was the 2018 Hoard's Dairyman summer editorial intern. She grew up on a dairy farm in southwest Kansas. Achen is currently a senior at Utah State University studying agricultural communications and journalism.