Farmer Pete Goes to the Big Butler Fair
Have you ever been in a milking contest before?
No I have not. Not a cow milking contest at least. I milk our goats every day. That’s always a contest. Everything’s a race. A little competition gets the job done faster. Maybe that’s not the best strategy to have, but it’s always worked for me.
How were you feeling before the contest?
I felt really confident. I figured since I have the milking experience from working with our goats, it would be pretty easy. I actually felt right at home. In the first round, I got the cow I wanted - Jackie. She had the nicest teats and I knew I could win with her. But then when we weren’t allowed to choose her in the second (championship) round, I guess I got a little nervous. Overall though, I felt good. I didn’t know that there were going to be other farmers in the competition.
I understand you and winner Chet Welch have some history. Can you explain?
We’ve known Chet for awhile. He was my mom’s friend and he became a friend of the whole family. We definitely know of each other. He raises beef cattle. I think he has Highlanders. So we’re in the same line of work. He was on a few episodes of the show with us. People also may know him because he was on Survivor. After Farm Kings ended, Chet had a show called Farm Queens on the same network, Great American Country.
How did it feel to come in second to Chet?
Well when I saw Chet, I knew he was actually going to be some competition. Going into the contest, I didn’t think I’d have any real competition because I didn’t know there would be other farmers competing. But when I saw Chet, I thought ‘Uh oh. He’s gonna be a tough competitor.’ He’s had his hands on some udders before. I was a little bummed to come in second but Chet picked the right cow in the second round and I didn’t. So that’s the way it goes. It’s just my competitive nature I guess. It’s definitely on the lower end of worries for me, but I had higher expectations for myself.
What is the biggest difference between milking cows and milking goats?
It’s really the exact same thing except cows have four teats and goats only have two. I just picked one that looked like it would milk the best. If you’re ever milking, just look for one with nice big udders and nice teats. Whether it’s a cow or a goat, that’s how you’re going to get the most milk.
Have you learned anything from this experience?
Make sure you choose the right cow. I guess that’s the lesson from this whole experience. It all depends on the cow you pick. As far as milking though, I didn’t learn much. I was confident in my milking ability and I still am. I figured cows would be similar to goats and they were. It just killed us that we weren’t allowed to milk Jackie in the final round.
What are you going to do to prepare for next year?
Practice. I’m going to get some more goats to milk. Even if we don’t need the milk, I need the practice. Honestly, I probably won’t do too much. I had a good strategy and Chet just picked the right cow in the last round. If I do it again next year, I’ll still have the same strategy. It was a fun thing to do so hopefully I get invited back.
Pete’s Goat-Milking Guide
It’s just like a pastry bag. You have to squeeze all the milk out, then release your hand to let more milk fall. A lot of people in the competition were just squeezing because they were trying to go so fast. But when you’re constantly squeezing, you’re not letting the milk fall down into the teat. You have to let that milk fall or you aren’t going to get much after the first squeeze. You can feel the milk with your hand. So you just squeeze it out and then release to let more come down. It’s pretty simple.