Students compete in Randall County Junior Livestock Show


Soaring Wings Yearbook

Seniors Reid Rousser and Raylee Bain show off their cattle during the steer portion of the Randall County Junior Livestock Show Monday, Jan. 18. Rousser has shown steer for over a year and said the county show is more laid back than other shows. “You want to catch the eye of the judge to make sure he gets a good look at your calf, and you need to be very presentable,” Rousser said. “The end goal is to be at the top of your class. Your calf needs to be smooth on the walk. He needs to look good from his profile and from the back.”

Canyon High students took part in the Randall County Junior Livestock Show between Tuesday, Jan 12. and Monday, Jan. 18, entering livestock ranging from cattle and sheep to rabbits and broilers in competition.

From across Randall County, 227 students competed in the annual event, with 518 animals shown. Of those, 11 Canyon High students won awards for their efforts. Sophomore Shelby Calhoun won grand prize in the rabbit division for the second year in a row.

“I do it for experience and for fun,” Calhoun said. “I really love animals, so I started with my rabbits. I would love to get more experience, more knowledge about animals and how people act around them, and to get a scholarship for doing so.

Bain, who won both Grand Champion Steer and Reserve Champion Steer, showcases her cow.

Calhoun said raising and entering livestock can be a major commitment, requiring careful planning and research before the animals themselves are purchased.

“You need to do a lot of research before you get [rabbits],” Calhoun said. “I don’t suggest just going in and getting a rabbit. You have to train them to be flipped and held so you need to take some hours off every day to do that. You might want to go through price ranges and see how prices go.”

Calhoun said the show provides opportunities for students to learn and improve for future events, even if they don’t bring home grand prize.

“My first [show] was bad because we were all getting messed up.” Calhoun said. “But once we got going, it was really fun, it was a great experience, and even for the people who didn’t really make it, it was a good experience for them to learn more about it.”

Senior Leah Jamieson won the poultry show–which took place Tuesday, Jan. 13–for the second year in a row and served as a Livestock Ambassador during the event.

“I worked the entire stock show and helped out,” Jamieson said. “We set up, and we help other kids who are showing for the first time. We set up a sale, and we sit with people who are willing to do bias–where they donate the money to us–and we use that for our stock shows or for our college funds.”

Jamieson competed in the broiler show. She said the process of raising birds for showing can be intensive, lasting several weeks.

Even for the people who didn’t really make it, it was a good experience for them to learn more about it.

— Shelby Calhoun, Rabbit Grand Champion

“They’re very sensitive animals,” Jamieson said. “You have them for about six to eight weeks. You get them when they’re right out of the box, and they’re really small. You have to check on them about every 4 hours because if they don’t have the right temperature, and if they don’t have clean enough water, they’ll die. It really depends on how you raise them if you will do good or not.”

Students can receive money from buyers throughout the competition, often based on their performance in their respective events.

“Usually, they don’t buy your animals,” Jamieson said. “They donate to you in a way. You go on stage and your picture will be on there. So, you’ll go out there, and they will bid on you. You can either keep your animal or butcher it and keep it to eat. I sold my chickens for $200, but I’m still going to go to the auction.”

Jamieson said competing in the stock show fell into line with her background in agriculture, and that encouragement from teachers and family was a major reason for starting.

“I grew up around livestock,” Jamieson said. “The stock show was a big thing. I was actually really good at, but I didn’t know what to show until I got to high school, and all of the ag teachers kind of pushed me toward competing. My parents are really pushing me forward to do that because it has been helping me raise a lot of money for college.”

Grand and Reserves Awards:

Swine Reserve Champion–Sterling Boyles (9)

Broiler Grand Champion–Leah Jamieson (12)

Broiler Reserve Champion–Jayten Dickinson (10)

Doe Goat Reserve Champion–Gracie Cox (9)

Goat Grand Champion–Sunny Cowley (11)

Steer Grand Champion, Steer Reserve Champion–Raylee Bain (12)

Sheep Reserve Champion–Jace Owen (12)

Rabbit Grand Champion–Shelby Calhoun (10)

Showman Awards:

Swine Senior Showman–Sterling Boyles (9)

Sheep Seniors Showman–Tanner Owen (11)