Alright, I know you have heard it, “Awe! Look at those fluffy cows!” Well, those fluffy cows take a lot of work to get so fluffy and are probably headed to the show ring. Showing cows is one of my most favorite things to do in 4-H.
My name is Dallas Bomar and I am a sixth-grader at Harrelson School. I am entering my third year of showing steers and heifers, an adventure that has taken me to western Kentucky, southern Illinois and West Tennessee. I even made it all the way to Murfreesboro for the Junior Beef Expo, one of my favorite shows. I would like to share some of my experiences and adventures over this past summer.
Training your show calves is a big part of getting ready to show. You have to teach them to lead on a halter, stand for inspection, and tolerate all of the grooming that gets them ready to show.
Show calves also receive a special diet to get them to just the right condition. I make sure to feed each of my calves, morning and night. I weigh their feed so that I know exactly how much they are eating.
Let’s get back to those fluffy cows. If you are fortunate enough to have the genetics for lots of hair in your show cows, you have hit the jackpot. You have to train the hair to stand up by washing, combing and blow drying it every single day. (Not my favorite part.)
I have had lots of help with showing. My Mom and I work as a tag team. She helps me with my daily chores and gets me to the shows.
We usually set up our stalls the day before, which means carrying a lot of heavy stuff. I am the one that washes the calves on show day while my Mom dries them, making us a tag team.
Ms. Angela Wilson, the Henry County 4-H program assistant, teaches me how to show, take care, and groom my calves.
She is really good at it. All of the kids that attend the shows from Henry County are really nice to help each other out.
A usual show day starts early in the morning to be able to get all the calves ready. We try to make it out the door by 4 a.m. When we get there, we wash and blow dry the calves, get their hair ready, which also includes clipping. Once they are ready, we let the calves rest till showtime. At the West Tennessee and State Expo, the exhibitor will take a test about how much they know about cattle.
We listen for our classes to start and have the calves ready to go in the ring. The trailer will usually pull back into our barn lot close to nightfall.
One of my favorite shows was the 2019 West Tennessee Junior Livestock Expo. I won first Premier Junior and was the Junior Skillathon winner and my steer won first in the carcass class. The day started out with a flat tire on our trailer, but I jumped right in and we got the tire changed with plenty of time.
Sometimes you have to stay the night at a show like the Tennessee Junior Livestock Expo. This was my first year to show there. We stayed three whole days and my calves were tired by the end of the week.
My calves did really good for their first big adventure. You might have even seen mine and my steer’s feet in the September issue of the Cooperator.
Showing is one of my favorite things to do. I like to care for my calves and then showing off all of my hard work.
I am already excited for the next show season to start and am putting together my string of calves. Wish me luck.