McKenzie Journey Through FFA
Raising cattle has had a significant impact on me, and I really love and enjoy doing it. Raising cattle is a significant responsibility that requires careful attention and diligent efforts. It takes a lot of time and will empty your pockets. When I took on my steer, I now have the responsibility to ensure his well being and to produce nutritious beef for consumers. I now must prioritize my steer over everything even if that means less time with my friends. Raising a steer, it becomes no longer a task, but rather a responsibility that carries various challenges and obligations.
It requires commitment, dedication, and the willingness to provide proper care and support to ensure the well-being of my animal. Education and understanding play a critical role in raising my steer properly. Understanding their natural instincts, social behavior, and signs of distress can help prevent injury, provide appropriate handling, and ensure my steers mental well-being. Taking care of my show steer includes daily responsibilities such as, feeding, daily attention, watering, grooming, and exercise.
Raising my steer Jude was like raising a big baby. He is very gentle but that wasn’t how it used to be. It took lots of training and attention to get him how he is now. The first time I ever met him he kicked me so I had to give him lots of attention and love to ensure that he could trust me. My steer hated being around people and now he is just a big teddy bear with a temper. He gets mad at me when I leave on vacation because he misses me and loves to run around and play. He constantly moos at me when I’m at the barn but not giving him attention.
I do want to say that choosing my steer was difficult. I had to meticulously assess various factors, including breed characteristics, conformation, muscle definition, and overall health, to choose a steer with the potential to excel in the show ring. Not to mention breed selection which plays a critical role, with popular breeds such as angus, Hereford, and Charolais often dominating the competition. Also, presentation is paramount in the competitive arena of livestock exhibitions, and grooming plays a vital role in showcasing my steers attributes to his fullest potential. Attention to detail is key, with every aspect of the steer’s presentation carefully considered, from the shine of its coat to the trim of its hooves.
As the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo approaches, I must intensify my preparations, fine-tuning every aspect of my steer's presentation. Practice sessions become more frequent, allowing me to perfect my handling techniques and ensure that my animals are poised for success in the show ring. Additionally, I must meticulously plan my show day routine, from the moment I arrive at the event to the final moments before entering the show ring. Raising a steer for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a labor-intensive yet immensely rewarding endeavor that embodies the rich tradition and heritage of agriculture in Texas. From the careful selection of the animal to meticulous grooming and presentation, exhibitors pour their heart and soul into every aspect of the process. Through dedication, skill, and unwavering commitment, they uphold the legacy of excellence that defines the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo year after year.
Now for the enjoyment it brings me. Raising cattle is more than just a livelihood; it's a passion that brings immense joy and fulfillment to my life. From the peaceful mornings in the pasture to the satisfying sense of accomplishment at the end of a long day's work, every moment spent tending to my herd fills me with happiness and contentment. Beyond the emotional connection, there is a sense of pride that comes from nurturing and caring for my steer. Witnessing the growth and development of my animal, from a small calf to a robust steer, fills me with a sense of accomplishment like no other. Knowing that my efforts contribute to the well-being of my steer and the success of my responsibility brings a profound sense of satisfaction. The enjoyment I derive from raising my steer extends far beyond the practical aspects of agriculture. It is a journey of self-discovery, connection, and fulfillment that brings meaning and purpose to my life. Through the highs and lows, the challenges, and triumphs, I am grateful for the opportunity to experience the joy of raising cattle each and every day.
Raising my steer has taught me profound lessons in responsibility. From ensuring its well-being to managing its daily needs, I've embraced a sense of accountability that has enriched my life. Caring for my steer means prioritizing its health and happiness. Whether it's providing proper nutrition, shelter, or veterinary care, I've learned that its welfare depends entirely on my diligence and compassion. This journey has also taught me valuable time management skills. Balancing feeding, grooming, training, and other tasks requires careful planning and organization, honing my ability to prioritize responsibilities effectively. Moreover, raising my steer has instilled in me a strong work ethic and resilience. Despite challenges and setbacks, I've remained committed to providing the best care possible, learning to approach each obstacle with determination and perseverance. raising my steer has not only deepened my understanding of responsibility but also fostered a profound sense of purpose and connection. Through this experience, I've embraced the privilege of caring for another living being and the transformative power it holds.
As the time comes to bid farewell to my steer, a bittersweet wave of emotions washes over me. The bond we've formed through months of care and companionship fills my heart with warmth and nostalgia. I'll miss the peaceful moments spent in the barn, the gentle nuzzles, and the rhythmic sound of hooves against the ground. Though our journey together may be ending, the memories we've shared will remain etched in my heart forever. As I say goodbye, I carry with me the lessons learned, the love given, and the profound gratitude for the privilege of raising such a remarkable animal.