In celebration of Women’s History Month, I would like to highlight some amazing young women in our La Plata County 4-H Youth Development program.
They are extremely passionate about raising and showing livestock animals. This requires a year-round commitment of hard work and dedication.
In January, 4-H members Keanna Smith, Riley Zufelt, Keely Harper, Kaneasha Valley, Cabree Mullins and Stephenie Riegel all participated in the National Western Stock Show in Denver. This event is revered as the premier stock show in our country. Participants, spectators and industry contributors come from across the states and the world to be involved.
Keanna Smith, a member of the Mount Allison Go-Getters Club, described the event as “a whirlwind experience that nothing could replace.” Keanna competed in the Prospect Steer and Pure Breed Heifer Simmental Show. Her heifer made it into the Wild Wild West Sale, where it sold for an impressive $4,000. She gained a greater appreciation for the larger agriculture community, especially all the youths who are involved in raising cattle.
For Riley Zufelt of the Pine River 4-H Club, this was an “eye-opening” experience. This was Riley’s first time at the stock show and showing animals outside the Four Corners region. Riley showed an Angus heifer in the Prospect class. She did very well, and the judge liked the design and quality of her heifer. Riley learned how important it is to pay attention to your animal, especially in a noisy area like Denver. She is very excited to return next year.
Kaneasha Valley, a member of the Mountain Shadows 4-H Club, also had her first experience at the stock show. She had a great time and learned to have patience while competing in a big event. She gained more confidence through her experience, which she will use in future shows this year.
Cabree Mullins, also a member of the Mountain Shadows club, did exceptionally well for her first time. She received first place in her Prospect Breeding Heifer class. Cabree described it as “an experience of a lifetime.” She had a great time meeting other girls her age who shared similar passions.
Keely Harper of the Ignacio Westerners said, “The 2015 National Western Stock Show Prospect Show is one of the most exciting major cattle shows I have entered.”
Keely entered three steers that placed first, fourth and fifth in their classes. Each class had 13 or more steers. She was overjoyed with the placings and learned so much from meeting other exhibitors from around the country.
Finally, Stephenie Riegel of the Mountain Shadows club was our member who participated in Goats and Lamb class, instead of the Beef class. Stephenie has shown at the stock show three times before, however, this was her first time showing lambs. She feels this experience has really helped improve the knowledge she has in showing lambs.
All of these young women deserve a great deal of credit for their efforts. It is highly commendable at such a young age to participate in a national event. They represent La Plata County 4-H and our ranching community extremely well.
If you happen to run across these young women, please congratulate them on their success.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.