By William Freestone
The first Dairy Days held in Plain City was in May of 1926. The purpose was to finance the Plain City baseball team.
William Freestone was the manager for the team with Elmer Carver, finance, Augus Richardson was coach, Floyd Palmer and Byron Carver were score keepers, and Rufus Maw, umpire.
The general committee consisted of William Freestone, chairman for the day, with Elmer Carver, Floyd Palmer, Merwin Thompson, Angus Richardson, Byron Carver, and Rufus Maw assisting. The entire team also worked hard to make a successful day.
The day was well organized. There was a big exhibit of cattle from all around the area, especially the Holstein Breeders Association. The local dairymen gave full support to the day.
The afternoon program consisted of a game between Plain City and Clinton. Horse racing and horse pulling contests were also on the program. The successful day ended in the evening with a big dance held in the town hall.
Dairy Days have continued to this day under various managements.
This information was obtained from William Freestone, Elwood Skeen, and Walter Christensen.
By Harold Thompson
Merwin Thompson came to Plain City in 1907. He had lived briefly in Ogden during which time he worked on a big cattle and sheep outfit in Eden, Utah. Before that, he lived in Scipio, Millard County.
He ran the farm which was later owned by himself and his brother, Gordon. This farm was not very level when he and his four brothers took it over, and they leveled it with horses and fresno scrapers. They then established a fine irrigation system.
During the 1920's Merwin acquired four fine registered Holstein heifers from Joseph Skeen of Warren. From this beginning, he developed a high-producing registered milking herd.
In the late 1920's he helped organize the Plain City Black and White Days and served for over forty years as a director of that exhibition. In the beginning, the show was for Holste-in-Friesias Cattle only. Later, it was expanded to include all dairy cattle.
At the time of his death, his dairy farm, dairy buildings and dairy was one of the best farms in Weber County.
By Floyd Palmer
This was first known as Plain City Black and White Day. It was sponsored by the Plain City Farm Bureau, as a fund raising project for the baseball team. Later, it was sponsored by Holstein Breeders and the Plain City Farm Bureau. The financial help came from local people and business firms in the area.
Members of the Ogden Chamber of Commerce, along with the "Ogden Livestock Show" committee and the Weber: County Commissioners, all became interested in lending their support to the growing need for an expanded show. These people were influential in getting the three-county shows (Jersey Show, Coliseum-Guernsey Show, Huntsville-Holstein Show, Plain City) to combine their shows, and this is how it became known as the "Plain City Dairy Day."
This move with the support of local people reaching out for help, was the means of getting the Weber County Commissioners and the State Legislature to give financial help for the show. It is also supported by many individuals and firms in a financial way. The officers now consist of the following:
Orlo S. Maw . . . . . . . . . Manager
J. W. Hatch . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Floyd A. Palmer . . . . . . . Treasurer
Harold Thompson. Tharold Quale, Fay Boyer . Invitations
Lee Olsen . . . . . . . . . . Finance Chairman
Byron Thompson . . . . . . . . Holstein Department
Ronald R. Smout . . . . . . . Guernsey Department
Verl Poll . . . . . . . . . Jersey Department
Burns Wangsgard . . . . . . . Junior Department
Plain City has become the home of one of the largest Dairy Shows in the State of Utah. It is held annually around the middle of May, and is open to all breeds of dairy cattle. The opening day is devoted to the Junior division. This is limited to bona fide 4H Club members and F.F.A. Future Farmers only. The second day is designated for the Open division. It is also held under strict rules, such as, Registration Certificates, State Health Standards are required, including Health Certificates and blood tests.
The management is well planned and organized. It consists of General Management, Directors, Clerks, and special committees, Finance, Premiums and Entries, Junior Department, Junior Judging Classes, Publicity, Cattle Supervisor, Grounds and Dinner, Special Awards Committee, and Tractor Driving Contest.
Many of the very finest dairy herds in the State of Utah are on exhibition here.
The judging is by top quality judges, usually out of state judges are used for the open division. The junior department is also very selective to get the best judges possible. Rules adopted by the Purebred Cattle Association of Utah are strictly enforced for the Open Division. The Junior Division is placed according to the Danish System of judging.
The Junior Division exhibits 150 to 175 animals. The Open Division exhibits 250 to 200 animals. The breeds are mostly Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss. Cash awards run from $1600 to $2000. Ribbons are also awarded in both Open and Junior Divisions. Special awards are given to the juniors in Fitting and Showmanship, Outstanding Exhibitor, Best Club Group of Animals, (five animals owned by at least three exhibitors.)
One of the outstanding special awards is the Frank M. Browning Memorial award. A Swiss Cow Bell is given to the outstanding 4H exhibitor, Other special awards are: Lynn Richardson Award to the outstanding F.F.A. Exhibitor; Smoot Dairy Award which is a special prize to the 2nd and 3rd place 4H boy in fitting and showmanship; Five Points Drug Company which is a special prize to the 2nd and 3rd place F.F.A member in fitting and showmanship; Utah Holste-in-Friesian Association Award, which is a trophy for the three best females bred and owned by exhibitor: Weber Chapter F.F.A. which is a belt to the F.F.A. exhibitor taking best care of his exhibit: Read Bros. Halter to the 4H member under 13 years of age placing highest in fitting and showmanship: John Chugg Halter to the 4H member placing highest in showmanship only: C. W. Cross Gift Certificate to the F.F.A. boy placing highest in fitting and showmanship: Curtis Breeding Service Halter to the 4H club member over 13 years of age placing highest in fitting and showmanship: Federal Land Bank Award to Grand Champion Cow: Commercial Security Bank: Production Class, 14 cash awards and ribbons. .
Mr. Robert P. Stewart, Principal of the Plain City Elementary School takes a very active part in the success of Dairy Days. For several years Mr. Stewart has organized a dairy class at the school. Paul Knight has furnished the facilities. The calves have beep furnished by Paul Knight and Archie Hunt. The school instructors have been Ray Hull and Steven Gertsch. Both boys and girls have entered the Dairy Class activity. In addition to oral instructions, they feed, groom, care and prepare the calves to be shown in the ring to be judged. As many as 25 very enthusiastic youth have taken part. The award money has been divided among the participants.
The Plain City School, under the direction of Principal Stewart, has served an annual Dairy Day Dinner. This has been an outstanding attraction to many state and local officials, business, and dairy people. The food is always delicious and the service is excellent. Fresh-grown Plain City asparagus is always included in the meal.
The faculty and P.T.A. operate the concession stand on the park for the two-day dairy show. This serves a worthwhile purpose for the school and those attending the day's events. The school children have beee good, to help clean the grounds after.
Since this Dairy Days started, small dairy herds have almost become extinct. They have been forced to grow larger and develop better grades of producing animals. We now have dairy herds entering this show from Utah dairy farms that are recognized as top dairy herds of the nation. They also exhibit their cattle at national shows.
The Plain City Town Board takes an active part in helping to promote the success of Dairy Days. The last few years they have provided help to put up the tie racks, take them down, and clean up the grounds. Over the years, the Dairy Day Committees have replaced the old pole fences with a new set of painted tie racks that can be moved after the show is over. They also have a movable loading chute for the cattle.
The 1977 Plain City Dairy Days will be listed on the program as the Forty-Eighth Annual Show. This takes it back to 1929 for the beginning of Plain City Black and White Days. It would seem appropriate to list and give credit to some of the management people that have served fifteen years or more. They include:
Ralph Robson Merwin Thompson
Clair Folkman Floyd A. Palmer
Lee Olsen John Chugg
J. W. Hatch Fay Boyer
Robert (Bob) Penman Edgar Smoot
Verl Poll Clifford Smout
Mary Papageorge Kogianes Burns Wangsgard
Lynn Richardson Byron Thompson
A. L. Christensen
Plain City has the largest all-breed dairy show in the State of Utah.