It's that time of year again. Time to take the new show calves to their first show. My family and I are headed to the Corn Palace Winter Calf Show in Mitchell, SD today with four calves--two heifers and two steers. My sisters have been working on the calves since Thanksgiving, and Christmas break has been filled with washing, clipping and leading the calves around to help prepare them for their first trip to town.
While some say that the show cattle industry has no place in the beef industry, I have to disagree. Showing livestock enables producers to showcase their livestock to fellow ranchers. This marketing tool allows an operation to become more recognizable, and winning cattle shows is an even better way to prove that your calves can stack up to the competition. Plus, show cattle can often be extreme in comparison to regular feedlot cattle. While many say that these cattle aren't fit for the practical production purposes and the retail case, I think these extremes help make improvements for the United State's beef herd.
So as I load up the trailer to stack my calves against others for the first show of the season, my big question is, what do you think about the show industry? Do you take your cattle to livestock exhibits? Do you ever purchase seedstock at shows and sales such as the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO or the Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD? Tell me what you think. Inquiring minds want to know!