Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lead by example

The 2008 Cattle Queen, Kristen Ann Hoover, lives two and a half hours away from Abbeville, but when she decided to run for a festival pageant, she chose Cattle anyway because she was impressed by the dedication of local Vermillion Parish farmers who had waded neck-deep in flood waters to care for their animals during Hurricane Rita (which devastated the parish). On the Saturday morning of the festival, she not only led her "herd"--as the Cattle royalty are called collectively--but the visiting queens in activities at a local livestock yard. Most years, the visiting queens have to milk a cow but the local cattle were stressed by the back-to-back hurricanes that recently hit the region and milk production is down, so this year's royals bottle-fed a baby calf named Buddy and then climbed aboard Mr. Puzzles, a bull. Kristen led the way on both counts.

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