Knowledge Bowl not for wimps

I think frustration is contagious.

Last week I wrote about how irritated I was being compared to having the same lifestyle as an inmate.

It seemed kind of coincidental to me then, when Russell cane home from school Wednesday with defeat written all over his face.

Funny how a mom can tell when something is bothering her child.

Apparently, during a less-than-thrilling school day, he was asked by several friends what he did during the weekend.

When he explained to them that he had Dairy Knowledge Bowl, they really didn’t understand what it was all about, and started ribbing him.

Russell usually can take a ton of teasing, but he gets upset too when people tease him about things he takes very seriously and being a farmer is something he wouldn’t trade for anything. He has serious goals of becoming a crop farmer. He doesn’t want to milk cows, but he does want to farm.

But I digress.

I am sure most parents are aware of a Knowledge Bowl Team at their children’s school. Well, Dairy Knowledge Bowl is the same thing, except it only pertains to the dairy industry.

And Brown County’s Dairy Knowledge Bowl team rocked the competition this past weekend in Redwood Falls.

Four students make up the county team. All of them live on, work on, or just want to learn more about the dairy industry.

Brown County’s Sr. Team consists of Russell; Bethany Seifert, daughter of Steve and Barb Seifert of Sleepy Eye; and Sabrina and Isabella Portner, daughters of Tom and Mary Portner of Sleepy Eye.

These four students have been a team for so many years, I can’t count them.

I have pictures of them in matching T-shirts as cute little middle school students. Now they are all grown up!

Anyway, this past weekend the team was undefeated in the tournament, and therefore is considered Regional Champions.

It’s on to the State Tournament of Dairy Knowledge Bowl fiefdom.

There they will compete against all other state teams that have won their respective regional competitions.

Some people may think that it’s a breeze to be a member of the team, but let me tell you, this competition is not for sissies.

At school a few days ago, someone asked Russell how long the gestation was for a dairy cow. Like his father, Russell gave the long answer, “Well, the average is 280 days. The longest is 287 and the shortest is 269.”

They were stunned, and asked, “How do you know these things?”

Well, he studies this type of information for Knowledge Bowl.

I am sure if I hollered down the steps to ask him what year the Brown Swiss dairy cow was introduced to the United States, he would know the answer.

In fact, let’s give it a try. Since the Portners milk Brown Swiss Cows, this one is for them.

Here goes.

“Russell, what year did the Brown Swiss cow come to America?” I asked.

“I have no idea.”

Well that shoots my theory out of the water. He may not know the answer to that question, but I bet the Portner girls do.

They will totally rock the state meet on April 20th.

Go Brown County Senior Dairy Bowl team.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at

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