Of the Baker City Herald

She may not be the smallest animal exhibited at the Baker County Fair, but she's certainly one of the youngest. Roxie, a Jersey/Holstein cow cross, was born in the beef barn on Thursday at 4:30 a.m..

andquot;I found her at about quarter of six all curled up in a pile of hay,andquot; Laura Hale, the owner of Rose, Roxie's mother, said. Rose is one of three dairy cows that Laura has at the fair. Now that total is up to four.

Elizabeth Hale, Laura's mother, was as surprised as her daughter.

andquot;This is an oops,andquot; she said. andquot;We didn't think she was going to calve til the end of September.andquot;

The cow and calf were moved to a secluded pen in the sheep barn originally built for a llama. Forunately for the new mother and baby, the llama didn't end up coming to the fair.

Despite the early morning birth, Laura and Rose still went into the ring and came away with two blue ribbons. She put the calf in a halter and took her to the ringside where the baby could see her mom. One of those ribbons may not have happened if it weren't for Roxie.

andquot;She got a blue ribbon for having 'produce,' andquot; Elizabeth said.

The Hales are from Richland, and Elizabeth raises replacement heifers while Laura raises the dairy cows for show. Between fairs, the cows are milked at Hammond's Dairy.

The new addition to Laura's animals may seem overwhelming to some, but she takes it all in stride. Even with the extra work of cleaning up after the birth and showing her other three cows, Laura still has time to sit down in the stall with the calf.

andquot;I've had three different species in one fair before and still handled it. It takes a lot of energy,andquot; she said.

Rose and Roxie still have showmanship today, but the new mom should do just fine.

andquot;She's really docile,andquot; Elizabeth said. And that's a good thing when everyone comes to peer in at the newest animal at the fair.

Roxie is her second calf.

After the fair, Rose will go back into the milking string at the dairy.

andquot;She's a working mom,andquot; Elizabeth said.

Roxie will also travel back to the dairy.

andquot;They had one (calf) three or four days ago that she can play with,andquot; Laura said.