Tyler Kappers is proud of his red and white Holstein, Coke.  He will show her at the Minnesota State Fair this year.  Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy/Spring Valley Tribune<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Tyler Kappers is proud of his red and white Holstein, Coke. He will show her at the Minnesota State Fair this year. Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy/Spring Valley Tribune

The results are in: Tyler Kappers' Coke is not just a pretty face.

"She got reserve champion red and white cow...she won in her class," said Bloomfield Cloverleaves 4-H member Tyler, son of Jim and Janet Kappers of rural Spring Valley, whose red and white Holstein cow, Coke, earned the duo a stall at the Minnesota State Fair following their win at the Fillmore County Fair's dairy show.

He explained why he likes the little red cow. "She's very pretty; she's not the biggest animal, but she's really fun, calm, docile, loves to get scratched, and she's always very good with people."

Kappers showed Coke at last year's Fillmore County Fair, and the bovine earned third place, but has filled out a bit over the past year, enough to garner top awards. The 4-Her feels that the countless hours spent in the barn with his cows have paid off. "The state fair is the big reward of the summer...and all the work that you put in. It's exciting. It's always fun when you get to win, especially when it's with one you've worked really hard on. It's a fun reward."

The success at the county fair has kept Kappers busy grooming Coke. "I have to re-clip her...all that's really left is to give her a bath, re-clip her and get her broke to lead." He anticipates taking her into the show ring and doing as well as he can to show off her best characteristics. "My dad's always told me, 'Hope for the best, expect the worst.' I'm happy and excited if she wins, but if we don't do well, I'm not disappointed. It's always fun, no matter what."

Kappers took four animals to the county fair, but he also has been the Cloverleaves' club historian, and he's compiled a scrapbook using different media and layout, something that caught the judges' attention, earning a grand champion in that category.

Since the club scrapbook doesn't have a state fair entry category, Kappers is responsible for the club's Community Pride project, which is a "record of the community service we've done through the year...we do lots of smaller projects, but our big one was a cardboard box city to raise money for the food shelf."

The state fair is a landmark event on Kappers' calendar, something he anticipates because he enjoys "getting to see all of my friends and the fun we have...we always find a way to have fun. It's a chance to see all of your friends you don't get to see, and it's basically my vacation. One thing we do every year is sit around and play cards, explore the fair, eat lots of food, go to the all-you-can-drink milk stand. We can always find a way to entertain ourselves. This is the last time I get to see my friends until December - it's one big last thing before school starts."

He concluded that the county fair wouldn't be successful without the volunteers and visitors who attend. "Thank you to all the people who came down to the fair. We had a really good turnout this year. A lot of people were walking through the barns, looking at the exhibits."