4-H champion competes at local fair

Other Staff

She walked into the open arena hearing her name echo over the intercom. While leading the cow around the ring, its halter suddenly fell to the ground and the cow starred down at her seeming to say, “isn’t this supposed to be on my head?”

“The halter just unhooked,” Nicole Bos, ’07, said. “I grabbed the cow immediately because I was afraid she would start running off.”

Though just barely five-feet tall, Bos claims the height difference between herself and the cows does not bother her much.

“My cows size doesn’t intimidate much,” Bos said. “I’ve raised them since they were smaller, so they’re pretty tame.”

After living on a dairy for 14 years, Bos enjoys the extra space and the abundance of animals.

“I love all the space because I have more room to ride my bike,” Bos said. “And I like being around all the animals; I like their personality and they’re friendly.”

Bos is currently involved in 4H (Head, Heart, Hands, Health) and has shown cows for six years. Her trainer and adviser, Michael Vivenzi, enjoys having her in his group.

“Nicole is doing great,” Vivenzi, Fresno 4-H leader, said. “She is one of the best showmen in the group. She has been in my group the longest and is very experienced with her cows. She has won a lot of competitions and handles her cows really well.”

Vivenzi has been a leader in 4-H for seven years.

“I was in FFA (Future Farmers of America) in high school,” Vivenzi said. “I got hooked on cattle shows and wanted to help kids experience them.”

The purpose of 4-H, to help youths to reach their fullest potential by growing through their accomplishments, is clearly established through their motto, “To make the best better.”

I love watching the kids compete,” Vivenzi said. “Seeing their smiling faces when they win awards and competitions is awesome. Even when they lose, seeing them so determined to do better and receive higher scores next time is a great encouragement to me.”

Preparing for a show or competition requires a lot of effort on the competitor’s part.

“Preparing the cows for a show takes about a month,” Bos said. “We have to lead them around the dairy to get them used to the workout. Before a show we have to wash the cows, clip them and brush them. It takes me about 30 minutes to get ready.”

Nervousness is not uncommon before a performance. Like most, Bos often feels butterflies upon entering the arena.

“I do get nervous in the beginning,” Bos said. “But after I walk into the ring, I just concentrate on my routine and do everything I practiced.”

Several different organizations offer competitions for cow owners. Among these are the Big Fresno County Fair and the Tulare Great Western Fair.

“I show my cows twice a year,” Bos said. “Once at the Fresno Fair and once at Tulare Great Western. I like the Fair the best because of the atmosphere and because we get to stay there for five days, which is longer than at Great Western.”

For many competitors, winning awards is both exciting and an honor. One of the highest (and most coveted) awards in cow shows is the supreme champion award.

“Since I began showing cows, I have won three supreme champions,” Bos said. “I was the most honored to win the one from Great Western because it is a larger and more competitive show.”

Bos will be showing cows next at the Big Fresno Fair on Oct. 2-3 in the livestock barn starting on Oct. 1-13.

For more information on 4-H, students can go to www.4-h.org. In order to find out which states have a homepage, go to www.national4-hheadquarters.gov/4-h_map.htm.

For more information on the The Big Fresno Fair, go to www.fresnofair.com. To find out more about the Tulare Great Western Fair, go to www.tularechamber.org and click on “Special Events.”” “Jennifer Bos” “Living on a dairy gave Nicole Bos, ’07, right, the impetus to familiarize herself with animals. Boz joined 4-H six years ago and has been a supreme champion winner with her cows three times. Here Boz showed one of her cows at The Big Fresno Fair, October 2002.” “” “” “Local 4-H link

National 4-H headquarters

The Big Fresno Fair

Tulare Chamber of Commerce