Jacob Raber, 15, is quite accustomed to taking home some big prizes for his dairy cows, having done very well in all his previous competitive ventures at the Livingston County Ag Fair and 4-H Show. What's the Raber secret? Well, without revealing too much, the Prairie Central sophomore said that “lots and lots of research” went into raising the best of bovine specimen. The Daily Leader caught up with Raber after the Dairy Show in the Show Barn.
    “I've been doing this since I was three,” he said. “I've done pretty good in the past, and today we have grand champion Holstein, senior champion Holstein, reserve junior champion (any other breed), grand champion Jersey and supreme champion overall. We go to quite a few national shows a year and this year, we went to Oklahoma and we did pretty good — we got second with our fall yearling and sixth with our spring yearling.
    “It's a lot of fun to be showing cattle.”
    On what makes the Raber cows so excellent, the young man from Gridley, who plans to return again next year until he goes off to college, stressed that a lot of research went into it — as well as a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
    “You've got to research the sire you want to use on your heifers to breed them and then it takes a lot of time, effort and dedication,” he said. “I was out here until 10 p.m. (Tuesday) night, usually I'm out until 11 p.m., and I got up at 4:30 (Wednesday) morning to come and wash and bed down and get ready for the show.
    “It takes a lot of hard work if you're going to do this, and you need to work at it if you're going to have success.”