Kale Geiser wins national grand champion award

Thief River Falls resident Kale Geiser had the grand champion ewe at the National Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America Junior Show. The show was held Thursday, June 8 in Spencer, Iowa.

by April Scheinoha

    Sometimes a kid one-ups his father. It recently happened in the Geiser household. Kale, 12, did something that his dad, Kenny, never did. He showed a sheep at a national show. There’s now a national grand champion winner in the house.
    Kale had the grand champion ewe Thursday, June 8 at the National Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America Junior Show in Spencer, Iowa. Kale showed a ewe owned by his great uncle Darin Bauck of New York Mills. Kale and Mauren Thiesen of Sauk Centre also won overall team showmanship at the show.
    Kale will enter the seventh grade this fall at Franklin Middle School. The Thief River Falls resident has shown sheep since he was in the third grade. Kale, a member of Steiner 4-H Club, has also shown sheep and dairy cattle at the Pennington County Fair. This was his second time at Sheep Breeders Junior Show. Kale said he was happy and excited after winning the grand champion ribbon.
    Kale is following in the footsteps of many relatives who have shown sheep. His father, Kenny, has shown sheep as have countless other relatives on Kenny’s side of the family. Kale even competed against his distant cousins Courtney and Seth Bauck at the national junior  show.
    Kale was showing a ewe raised at Dew Drop Farms in New York Mills. His great-grandfather, Rowland Bauck, and great-uncles Darin, David and Duane Bauck own the farm.
    “They raise four different breeds,” said Kenny, who noted Dew Drop Farms had a champion ram at last year’s National Columbia Show. For the past two years, the farm has had the champion pair of ewes. They were shown at the senior show.
    Darin picks the sheep to be shown at each show. He has taken Kale under his wing, buying sheep in Kale’s name every year. Kenny suspected it’s because he and his wife, Darci, raise sheep at their home.
    Kale worked with this particular ewe twice since it lived in New York Mills. The ewe has since been sold.
    Preparing a sheep for a show involves leading the sheep on a halter and getting it accustomed to being led. There are  other aspects like feeding the sheep and cleaning its pen.
    For the team showmanship event, younger junior show participants like Kale were paired with older participants like Mauren. During showmanship, a judge makes sure the sheep’s feet are set and the sheep is always looking its best, Kenny said.
    Some of Kale’s younger siblings may also follow in his footsteps. Sister Ruby, 10, is more content to show cattle, but Betsy, 6, may show sheep someday. Kooper, 4, already refers to himself as the sheep tamer.