It may be the 103rd year that our county gets to celebrate the Great Kern County Fair, but one tradition never seems to get old—the birth of calves at the fair. This year was no different with the birth of the first baby calf coming in at 11:18 on Wednesday September 18th, 2019.

Rachel Driskell and the first born calf, named Stubborn, at the 2019 Kern County Fair.

Rachel Driskell a Bakersfield College FFA student brought her cow Gypsy down early, and she was waiting at the gate to get Gypsy in the fair. For Gypsy to qualify for the Springer category, Rachel needed to ensure she gave birth while at the fair. If the baby would have come early, Gypsy would have been disqualified from showing in the Springer category.
Gypsy and her baby calf didn’t necessarily cooperate to make it an easy birth. “The calf was pulling back and didn’t want to come out,” commented Driskell. “I could tell it was a bull because his hoofs were big! Making it even more difficult, Gypsy didn’t want to push until she sat down,” added Rachel.

Rachel was assisted by a few folks in the birth of the calf. Her FFA advisor Emily Keverline quipped, “Rachel owes me a hamburger for helping with this birth.” Keverline’s comments highlighted that this wasn’t necessarily an easy birth. The size of the bull and the nature of mother and child made this birth a slow one. However, when it was all said and done, the calf and mother were in fine shape.

When asked what she would name the new calf, Driskell stated, “Maybe we will call him ‘Stubborn’!”

This marked the 10th year Rachel Driskell showed dairy and the 3rd her cows have given birth at the fair. Since this will be her last year showing she is eligible to apply for her American Degree from FFA. Less than 1% of all FFA participants earn the American Degree award. According to the FFA website the American Degree is awarded to members who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to FFA and made significant accomplishments in their supervised agricultural experiences.

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