This time of the year counties across the Brazos Valley are having their Youth Livestock Shows.
The commercial steer program gives young people a taste of everything that beef producers go through to get their product to market.
“This teaches them the industry from the financial part of it, the performance part of it, it incorporates farming because how the farmers do that year is relative to the price of their feed, the cattlemen’s feed that year. So this is a big picture project for these kids that puts the entire industry in focus for them rather than and individual spot along the chain.”
Pat Shields is a member of the Brazos County Livestock Show Commercial Steer Committee.
“A lot of these kids have to find financial ways to do it, so a lot of the kids have been to see a loan officer, sat down with them, got a loan made, worked through the program, worked through the budgets, calculated the interest as part of the record book and the written exam that they take, as well as they have an oral interview.”
For the last two years Weston Wendler has placed in the top five out of one hundred participants in the Houston Show.
“They’ll ask questions like what was your average daily gain., and that consists of how many pounds of gain that your cattle gained per day and then they’ll ask your feed conversion, how many pounds of feed it takes to put on one pound of gain. They’ll ask your break-even which is your cost per pound of finished steer. That’s the price that you have to sell your steers at in order to break even to not lose or to make a profit.”
Participants from third grade to seniors in high school are asked the same questions.
“Whenever you’re in third grade, they can ask those very hard questions and you don’t have a clue what they’re about, but growing up you get used to it and you do your homework on it , and get on the computer and look up all that stuff.”
“This is a deal that if you hang with it, just like in life, the easier it gets. “
I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos Valley Agriculture, From The Ground Up.