Sydney Bullard, 16, of Turner is congratulated in September after winning several awards for herself and her 8-month-old Holstein calf Rainn at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Cowsmopolitan Dairy Magazine

TURNER — Sydney Bullard knew from the very start there was something special about the calf she named Brigeen Red-Eye Rainn.

The red and white Holstein was born in late January. When Sydney began showing the calf at state fairs in early September, she knew the 8-month-old was at a disadvantage — Rainn was nearly 2 months younger than the calves in the competition at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

It didn’t turn out to be a problem.

“The way she’s made, it didn’t slow her down at all,” the 16-year-old said. “The family that she comes from has been known to make some pretty great cows.”

You can say that again. At “The Big E,” billed as the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard and the fifth-largest fair in the nation, Sydney and her calf cleaned up.

Sydney was named champion of the Junior Red and White show.


The Open Red and White show? She nailed that one, too.

On top of that, Sydney was named Master Showman of the Holstein show.

Sydney Bullard, 16, of Turner stands in September with her prize-winning calf, Brigeen Red-Eye Rainn, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Eastern States Exposition photo

“She had a very successful week,” her grandmother, Mary Briggs, said. “It’s quite an achievement for a young farmer.”

Sydney is a junior at Leavitt Area High School. Since she was a wee lass, she has been working at her family farm, Brigeen Farms, on Upper Street in Turner, where she has been learning everything there is to know about raising and exhibiting cows.

“I was 6 the first time I showed one on my own,” Sydney said.

Her calf was judged on its appearance and on its phenotype, which includes blood type, hair color and presence. It was also judged on conformation, which includes desirable and undesirable skeletal and muscular structures.


Clearly, Rainn has a winning lineage. And clearly Sydney had guided the animal along just right for presentation. It’s no surprise to her family, though. Rainn might have good lineage, but so does Sydney.

“She’s the 10th generation that has successfully handled livestock,” Briggs said.

She said that in accordance with family tradition, Sydney will be sent off to college — to see the world, to learn more and to think about what she would like to do with her future. Will she eventually come back to Brigeen Farms?

“That’s definitely my goal,” Sydney said. “I want to get out of New England and maybe out of the Northeast for college. I want to go work somewhere else and see different parts of the world and see different farms. But the goal is definitely to come back and continue the tradition of farming here in Turner.”

Up next: Sydney and Rainn will compete in the International and International Junior Holstein shows at World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, which is home to the largest dairy-focused trade show in the world.

For Briggs, the agriculture shows are important in particular because they demonstrate how young people are taking the business of farming into the modern age. Not everybody realizes that innovations are happening all the time on farms around the country.

“They’re doing some pretty darn neat stuff,” Briggs said.

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