EASTON — Even with a hole in his milking cup, Hebron Supervisor Brian Campbell and his partner, Washington County Dairy Ambassador Karlie Telford of White Creek, won the notorious government official milking contest at the Washington County Fair on Friday.
With milk pouring from his cup and dripping down his fingers, the milking duo still brought in a measured three-and-a-half cups of milk, unseating the current Golden Stool holders, Greenwich Supervisor Sara Idleman and Dairy Princess Erin Armitage.
And some wondered if organizers threw a curve Campbell’s way to make the competition more exciting.
Washington County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Henke said they always throw things into the mix, like a cow that’s just been milked or maybe the hole in Campbell’s cup.
“The only time I ever won was with a goat,” said Henke, laughing.
As the event kicked off in the dairy show ring, Michael Bittel, president of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, teased that he was kicked out of the competition because he won three times, thus being relegated to the master of ceremony role.
“They are playing for the Golden Stool,” he said dramatically, holding the glitter-decorated stool high in the air after relaying the rules of the game.
Several officials were there hoping to unseat Idelman, including U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville; NY Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake; NY Assemblyman Dan Stec, R- Queensbury; NY Sen. Daphne Jordan, R-NY 43; Washington County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Henke, Washington County DA Tony Jordan, Greenwich Superintendent of Schools Mark Fish, Salem Supervisor Sue Clary, Hampton Supervisor Dave O’Brien, Greenwich Town Counsel candidate Audrey Fisher and three of four candidates running for NY Supreme Court Justice, Rebecca Slezak, Jim Walsh and Diane Freestone.
The way the competition goes down, the Washington County Dairy Princess and dairy ambassadors pick a government official as their partner, the milking cows are brought into the arena and the after Bittel gives the “Go,” the dairy ambassadors and princess dash off to pick the cow for milking, and then the officials join them.
They have one minute to fill their plastic cups with as much milk as possible. for judging, the milk is poured into a official judge’s measuring cup.
“We’re going to measure Brian Campbell’s first,” said Bittel. “Come forward, sir.”
And when Campbell and Telford poured their milk into the cup, there were “oohs and awws” from the arena audience.
“What happened?” Bittel asked Campbell about the milk dripping from his cup. “Who put a hole in your cup?”
When one of the judges said they had three-and-a-half cups, applause broke out.
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“Wow, that’s gonna be tough to beat,” Bittel said.
A half of a cup was the hot number for many of the teams, including Rep. Stefanik.
The defending champs, Idleman and Armitage, came up to the judges with an empty cup, claiming Idleman already drank her milk.
In a bit of a bluff, Assemblyman Stec walked up to the judges carrying his cup as if it was heavy, but the judges measurement was barely a drop.
“We’re going to go with a measurement of whatever is on the end of my finger,” Bittel said.
Stec raised his arms up, a champion to the cheering crowd.
“I killed it,” he said.
Bittel conferred with the judges.
“This gives me great pleasure; we have a new championship for the Golden Stool at three-and-a-half cups from the Town of Hebron Supervisor Brian Campbell and Karlie,” said Bittel, drowned out by audience cheers.
Campbell will keep the stool until next summer’s fair, when the government officials will try to unseat the winning duo.
“I had a great partner,” said Campbell.
About the hole in his cup?
“I figured it out right away and kept pouring it into Karlie’s cup,” he said.