Harold Seddy: Against the Odds
4-H Clubs were popular with Minnesota's rural children during the 1920s and 1930s. The clubs offered social interaction, education and training in useful skills. 4-H competition provided an opportunity to exhibit their work at the county fair and, if lucky, the Minnesota State Fair. Polk County had its share of winners in various 4-H categories. Harold Seddy, active in dairy calf work, was one of these. He knew the thrill of winning - and the pain of disappointment.
This is an account of Harold's calf work written by Rudolph M. Stolen, the Polk County Agricultural Extension Service Agent, for his 1933 annual report.
Harold's Calf, from the Polk County Agricultural Extension Service Agent
This past year the policy was adopted of selecting the outstanding 4-H dairy calf for a State Fair trip. This award went to Harold Seddy with his first year grade Guernsey calf. Unfortunately, Harold's calf was found to be infected with Bang's Abortion disease and hence, could not be exhibited at the State Fair. Harold was also a winner of the 4-H dairy judging contest at the Fertile Fair [Polk County Fair].
An interesting story is attached to this boy's 4-H Club work experience in exhibiting calves and in dairy judging. In the early spring of 1933 he with his parents and sister, moved from the City unto their farm. Harold, who is fourteen years old, had observed other 4-H boys and girls in their work and was interested especially in the dairy project. His father obtained a purebred calf from a neighbor's herd in trade for a load of hay. This calf had received a poor start as a result of the drastic feed shortage in the community that year. Although handicapped at the outset, Harold brought the calf through to first place in its class in the County Fair contest that year. It was not good enough, however, to rank in the upper four placings made of all dairy calves exhibited which were selected for State Fair trips. In the judging contest that year, Harold's placings were inaccurate and his oral reasons were poorly given.
The following year, however, which is under consideration in this report, Harold obtained another Guernsey calf. He obtained all of the information on dairy feeding and judging that was available. He made a thorough study of bulletins, articles in farm papers and any other material he chanced to come across. This, together with the practical experience which he was gaining in dairy feeding and judging, helped him to place first over all dairy calves exhibited at the Fertile Fair, and also won the dairy judging contest.
Agent's Name Polk County Agricultural Extension Service Annual Report. State Archives Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, 1933.