Show Calves

Blake - Hinton, Oklahoma
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I strongly believe in showing calves, such as steers and heifers, because it has taught me responsibility, and to work hard no matter what. You have to have a love for showing cattle. You can’t wake up one morning and just say “I think I’ll show cattle.” It all starts with a little want. It takes hours of work every day. Come hell or high water, you still have to be out there working with them. If you don’t know what to look for in show calves well, you might as well find something else your good at, or ask your ag teacher for advice. For the most part it all comes down to practice and desire. I believe you have to out work all the rest of the competition.

The best way to win with your cattle is by feeding the right feeds. If you feed your livestock right, you have just eliminated half of the competition because most people won’t take the time to feed properly. With feeding steers you want just the right amount of fat. Now to feed your heifer, it’s basically the same; the only difference is that you don’t want to have their appearance be to steer like in their genetic makeup. If you happen to get your heifers too fat, most likely when it comes time to breed, she’ll have problems producing milk and calving. I also believe that with heifers you don’t want them to have as much quarter and muscle as a steer should. In order to be successful with your heifer you need to have lots of volume, capacity, depth of flank, easy fleshing, and be cow-appearing in their makeup.

I believe that showmanship is very important and the animals should also be practiced with at home every day, no matter what you show. Two of the biggest things that a person should work on is setting up and leading. I also believe strongly in working your steer or heifer everyday to the fullest extent.

Rinsing everyday and washing at least once a week is vitally important. Working their hair, whether it’s a heifer or a steer, is crucial. Probably the most important things that you can do when you first start working with your cattle is to make the hair grow and get it to lay properly. It’s kind of like you women, you have to fix your hair every morning and make sure that it’s fixed just right. Well, cattle are a lot like that; the more you work with the hair, the better it’ll work for you.

Showing cattle has taught me to work hard for something I believe in. No, getting up at 5:30 every morning is not my favorite thing to do, but it’s my responsibility to make sure that they are taken care of to the fullest extent, morning and night. In college I believe that I will use several of the skills that I have learned in FFA and through showing.