COSHOCTON – Brother and sister Ryan and Michaela Greten live on a farm in Fresno, so raising cattle is an important part of their lives. They both took part in Monday’s junior fair beef show in Hunter Arena, and competed in a variety of classes.
Ryan, 14, has learned a lot since he began showing heifers in beef breeding last year.
“I want to start my own heard, so being in 4-H and showing cattle is a great way to learn,” said Ryan, who is a member of the This-N-That 4-H club with his sister. In addition to showing in the feeder and diary categories, he said he was also feeling confident about exhibiting his heifer Bella in the beef breeding category.
Michaela, 16, won grand champion diary feeder in 2010 and reserve dairy feeder in 2015. She has also placed in showmanship. This year she is competing in several categories, including in beef breeding with her heifer Annie.
“I feel pretty confident,” said Michaela, as she prepared to showcase Annie to the beef breeding judges. “I’ve learned the importance of time management. The more animals you show, the more there is to do,” she said.
The beef breeding show focuses on the characteristics and overall qualities that make heifers superior breeding cows, explained beef adviser Logan Pyers. “The kids have been doing a pretty good job – their heifers look good. There is definitely a lot of quality,” he said.
Typically the beef breeding heifers have the characteristics that produce quality offspring, and are returned to farms to expand herds.
Throughout Monday afternoon, 67 young exhibitors from local 4-H clubs and FFA organizations competed in 44 classes. The show consisted of beef fitting, feeder, dairy feeder, steers and heifers and showmanship.
Pyers said the exhibitors learn a lot during the process, from working with their cattle throughout the year to taking to the ring in front of the judges.
“It teaches them responsibility and how to work hard,” said Pyers. “It also teaches the kids where their food comes from. Not many Americans actually know where their food comes from – they just go to the supermarket,” he said.
Issabelle Flores, 17, of West Lafayette competed with her steer Antonio in the feeder category. She’s put a lot of hard work into him over the past seven months.
“When I got him he was only 2 days old. I bottle fed him,” said Issabelle, a member of the Ridgewood FFA. “He’s like puppy.”
Issabelle said she was hopeful as she walked through the fairgrounds, headed to Hunter Arena to show Antonio to the judges.
“I feel pretty confident. He’s where I want him to be,” she said.
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