While many kids these days spend their time engrossed in various activities involving some sort of ball, a different kind of sport captures the attention of 18-year-old Kylie Nickels, Watertown.

“I’m not into sports, this is what I do,” commented Nickels as she watched over the group of dairy cattle she brought to the junior dairy show at the Dodge County Fair this year.

Nickels had a very successful show day at the fair this year. She won junior champion and supreme junior champion with her Jersey winter yearling. However, Nickels’ showing career includes a lot more than just the county level.

“I’ve competed in county, state, national, and international dairy shows,” noted Nickels, who started showing dairy cattle when she was very young. “The Wendorf family got my brother and I started. Niles and Elmo (Wendorf) had a sale, dairy youth from the county were asked to help out, we started working for the Wendorf family on their farm, and everything progressed from there.”

In every sport, there’s always something the participant really enjoys. Showing dairy cattle is no different. “I really like meeting people across the United States and Canada. I also like working with good dairy cattle.” The Nickels family is well known in the showing industry for the show-quality heifer-raising program on their farm in southern Dodge County.

In addition to showing dairy cattle, Nickels is an award-winning dairy-cattle judge. She was a member of the 2017 National 4-H Dairy Cattle Judging Team that won a trip to the International Dairy Tour in Scotland. She has also competed in state and national dairy-bowl competitions, which are quiz-bowl events featuring information about the dairy industry and caring for dairy cattle.

This fall, Nickels is headed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to major in dairy science.

The Dodge County Fair runs through Aug. 18, 2019.

Written by Dori Lichty — farm wife, 4-H Mom, and full-time communicator