Steer-Aid clinic teaches youth
Southeast Colorado youth, parents and their show calves all got a weekend education from “Stock Show University.”
FFA and 4-H youth participated in WW Feed & Supply’s Steer-Aid Clinic June 1 to 2 at the Arkansas Valley Fairgrounds in Rocky Ford, Colo. Sullivan Supply’s “Stock Show University” was a part of the annual hands-on beef clinic, which focused on feeding and nutrition, daily hair and animal care, show day grooming and showmanship.
Matt Copeland of Nara Visa, N.M., and Curt Russell of Sugar City, Colo., were the instructors during the intense weekend workout. In the clipping and show-day grooming portion, for example, Copeland first demonstrated a certain technique, then the youth went to their own steer or heifer and practiced that step. One-on-one suggestions were given as the instructors mingled between the chutes to help the 20 youth on each phase, before returning as a group to watch another of Copeland’s mini-demonstrations. Attendance was capped, so Copeland and Russell could aid each youth and their parents. By the end of the two-day clinic, the entire animal was clipped and groomed.
Project goals and nutrition also were reviewed, plus calves were all weighed so that the youth could calculate gain needed until their respective fair. Added this year, was service by Rod Kerchal of Peyton, Colo., who trimmed hooves all day Saturday.
On the morning of June 2, the hands-on teaching style was again used in the showmanship session, with the instructors demonstrating and then actually holding a showmanship contest, sponsored by Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers Association.
Russell explained the showmanship contest had divisions based on years in the beef project, not on age of the exhibitor like most contests. Since it was skill-level based, the youth could be reinforced or corrected, as necessary, while they were in the ring, and their animals could practice, too.
Judge Travis Taylor of Limon donated his time in the ring on the afternoon of June 2. He reinforced Copeland’s lessons, added in some oral questions and his experience, to select showmanship winners. Those with five-plus years in beef went first, so the inexperienced ones could watch and absorb more tips. Top winners, who earned monetary rewards from Bent-Prowers Cattlemen and prizes from Sullivan Supply, were:
Senior skill level—Rhett Hinkle of Fowler, first; Mackenzie Mayo of Cheraw, second; and Chad Russell of Sugar City, third.
Intermediate skill level—Tatum Chase of McClave, first; Theresa Butler of Holly, second; and Kristina Alm of Granada, third.
Novice skill level—Brendon Younger of Colorado Springs, first; Michelle Hargrove of Fowler, second; and Melanie Acton of Canon City, third.
Parents joined in on all the lessons to support the youth. The Russell family provided the weekend meals.
The clinic ended with a jackpot show, also judged by Taylor. Participants paid a fee, with 100 percent payout back to the top three places in heifers and top five places in steers. In the heifer jackpot, Cole Miller of Beulah, showed champion breeding heifer with a Shorthorn cross, and Chad Russell of Sugar City won reserve champion with his Simmental yearling heifer; and in the jackpot prospect steer division, Tatum Chase of McClave showed the champion with her 1,142-pound market steer; and Justin Hinkle won reserve with his 1,100-pound steer.