For Brice White the annual National Western Stock Show is a tradition. For 20 years White and her family have raised high quality club calves and miniature Herefords at Triple 3 Cattle. This year was special for Brice because her three-year-old daughter, Rileigh, would lead calves into the junior show for the first time, something Brice did as a little girl too.
“It teaches you how to care for everything in your life, because when you have to care for an animal or another human it makes you learn more responsibility at a younger age, and you grow up a lot faster but its good because you know how to take care of yourself”, says Brice.
During the miniature Hereford junior show on Monday morning, Rileigh entered the competition with her miniature Hereford, a heifer named Tinker Bell. After practicing leading Tinker bell at home, Rileigh was prepared to confidently pull Tinker Bell around the arena without any hesitation or fear. With the help of her mom, she kept Tinker Bell calmly in position while Judge Austin Vieselmeyer carefully inspected each calf. Tinker Bell came in 5th in the competition.
“Rileigh loves it, I mean she goes out there and she’ll yell Tinker Bell and she turns and looks at her, it’s cool to see it go from generation to generation” said White.
The miniature Hereford is docile and sweet temperament animal that is easy to work with and is great for kids. Compared to a Hereford, the miniature takes less feed, less acreage and are more common as backyard pets. According to Brice they are still considered a meat breed.
“You get like three quarters of the beef versus a 1600 pound cow that you get from the feed yard. These guys are like 11 or 12, so it’s a lot less meat, so it’s more efficient for a family to actually be able to put that in their freezer.”
Their calm behavior can also make it easy during preparation for shows like these. Not only do judges consider motion, profile, bone structure, and functionality while judging the qualities of these calves, they also take in consideration cleanliness and appearance. Grooming is important and according to White it takes her about two hours to wash and groom the calf’s hair to prepare for shows. Growing up and raising cattle has allowed Brice, and now Rileigh, to appreciate and form bonds with her livestock.
“Raising cattle is always fun because you get something out of it and you can tell that they love you, so when you show up with the feed, they know their names. People will try to tell you that they don’t, but they do. So that’s kind of why we still like to do it and do it as a family.”
Brice and her family have entered their livestock into many competitions, winning a variety of awards in fairs and expositions throughout the states. After her experience participating in the stock show Brice believes it can help bring awareness to families about agriculture.
“That’s the good thing to just have everyone know what agriculture is about and it’s for really good people. We love our animals.”
In the future Brice and her family plan to continue their participation in competitions showing their cattle. Rileigh is always ready for a show.
“She loves going to the shows, every time we say you want to go to a cow show, she says yes I want to go, She’s always trying to pack her bags before we even get to.”