Buying Show Cows
In order to have a successful show calf project, about 1,000 things have to culminate together correctly on show date (and the judge has to really like your calf). Of course, some of these items include correct feeding, training, grooming, and health care with the use of the right show cattle equipment, barns, and cattle facilities. However, one of the most important is purchasing the right calf.
An old formula I learned in high school biology was something like this: The individual would result from the combination of genetics and environment. Well, the environment is all those homework things I mentioned above. Of course genetics is buying the right calf.
Buying the show cows comes down to an investment of time to maximize the use of your dollar. That is, one has to know exactly the top amount they will invest in their show cows and then go shopping. By shopping I mean go out and look over every calf they can get to, within reason, and purchase the best calf within their budget.
One issue to consider at this point is how much service and support will a breeder give to help with your calf project’s success. Another issue is that many local cattle shows have “area raised” competitions to support local breeders. These give students another way to be successful.
However, at some point, you have to allow yourself to be satisfied with the job of searching for the right calf. Now, Ron Smoak (the gentleman who was an excellent Lowndes County Young Farmer teacher for decades) had a saying about reaching this point, “You could wear out a pickup truck looking for a better calf.”
The process of going farm to farm to look over calves and purchase individually at the farm is labeled as “private treaty.” One way to avoid traveling and multiple hours in this process is to attend a show cattle auction. At such a cattle auction, you can look over many show cows at once.