ESCANABA – The Highland Cattle at the U.P. State Fair has been getting a lot of attention because of the unusually long hair that the animals have.
Their owners wash and blow dry the hair while combing it just right to get it presentable for the judges. Steve Palosaari of Chassell says he trains the hair to go a certain way.
“What we are trying to do is condition their hair, to wash them and then blow dry it to train the hair to go a certain angle to make them look better in the competition ring,” said Palosaari. “We don’t use a lot of chemicals or anything to get the hair in place. Just use what the animal traditionally provides.”
Palosaari says the animal is know for its meat. It’s a lean meat because the Highland has two sets of hair that gives it protection during U.P. winters.
“Its a lean beef because they do have two coats of hair. This is their summer coat of hair and then they get a thick coat for the winter so they have very little body fat and therefore produce lean meat,” he said.
Palosaari says the judge looks at the way the animal walks or tracks and the quality of the muscle. The Highland Cattle Show is being held Thursday at the fairgrounds.