By Brianna Boyd
Special to Dixon Patch
Dixon Mayor Jack Batchelor, Vice Mayor Dane Besneatte and Councilman Rick Fuller proved Friday their many talents stretch far beyond the council dais when they took first place in a sheep milking contest at the Dixon May Fair.
The trio was one of two teams from the Dixon Rotary Club participating in the Bids for Kids “Ewe Milk ‘Em” fundraiser Friday night in the fair’s livestock area. As part of the contest, the seven teams of three each had three minutes to catch one of 11 sheep and milk the ewe. While some of the teams were only able to collect a few drops of milk, Batchelor, Besneatte and Fuller filled half of their water bottle. They were declared the winners, with the team “Udderly the Best” taking second place.
“These men know how to milk their ewes,” exclaimed Belyn Lee of the Dixon May Fair as the winning trio held their trophies high in celebration.
“I’ve never milked an animal in my life,” Batchelor said following the competition. “But I learned quick.”
Six Dixon Rotary Club members volunteered to compete in the Bids for Kids fundraiser, although organizers kept the details of the contest a secret until the day of the event. Fuller said he and the other club members were happy to volunteer, because they knew each team’s $75 entry fee goes towards a good cause.
“This helps kids who raise animals for the market,” he said, adding that his own children raised lambs when they were young. “Whatever we can do to support them, we should. There are some kids who probably wouldn’t get any money at all if it were not for Bids for Kids.”
Batchelor, Besneatte and Fuller were the final team to compete, and watched closely as each group entered the enclosed area to chase after the 11 sheep inside. They were searching for the ewe with the biggest udder, and had their eyes on a couple when it was their turn to milk. The first sheep they wanted escaped though, and then Batchelor slipped and tackled a different one.
That animal ended up being a good choice though as the three men took turns milking.
“It’s all in the hands,” Batchelor said.
“No, it’s all in the wrist,” Fuller added.
As Batchelor and Fuller collected milk, Besneatte stroked the top of the sheep’s head.
“They relax when you pet them,” he said. “I wanted it to relax so it wouldn’t run out of milk.”
For their first place finish, the three each received a trophy with a sheep on top.
“We’re ready for next year already,” Batchelor laughed.
“This is what the fair is all about,” he added, “everyone coming down and having a good time.”
Editor's note: Brianna is the editor of the