UC Davis music department assistant Susanna Peeples earned first place in the campus‘ annual Cow Milking competition held yesterday on the West Quad.
“It’s completely unexpected,” Peeples said of her win, which was only her second time milking a cow.
A mixed crowd of students and locals turned out to watch the event’s two stars, Jersey dairy cows Buttercup and Marjorie, get a milking like no other.
Eight participants from UC Davis and the surrounding community, including Chief Annette “Silky Hands” Spicuzza of UC Davis police, and ASUCD Vice President Chris Dietrich competed in the pre-event to this Saturday’s Picnic Day.
Dietrich was an early favorite as the only competitor making his second appearance in the milking contest. He was keen to emulate the success of his father, who won the event in 1995, and from the outset said he felt “pretty confident.“
However, he was bettered by Buttercup and fell short of his expectations, milking 29 mL.
Chief Spicuzza made a good impression on the crowd, but not on her cow Marjorie, only just managing to surpass Dietrich by caressing 33 ml into her bucket.
Yet, as the competition unfolded and the cows got comfortable, the milk started flowing. Peeples released an impressive 74 ml from Marjorie.
Participants were evaluated by judges Jennifer Thayer from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, Wendy Strange, senior events manager for the UC Davis campus unions department and a local woman picked from the audience.
Although the main prize was given to Peeples for collecting the largest volume of milk, judges awarded the Aggie Pack’s Scott Judson with a “Best Milker” award.
“I’m ecstatic,” Judson said after his win was announced. “I stuck with the fundamentals, remembered my coaching and succeeded.“
Also, Event MC and Davis City Councilmember Lamar Heystek earned a few unintentional laughs when he asked organizers what gender the milking cows were.
CHRISTOPHER BONE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.