By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
Commercial heifers aren’t your typical Youth Expo critters.
They’re often muddy, with sticking-up hair that looks more like a cow’s natural hide than the combed and trimmed dandies in the Registered Heifer division. They have no manners, and nobody tries to put them on a leash and drags them around a ring.
Despite the fact that the animals themselves tend to spend more time in a pastures than a show barn, this is the serious work of agriculture on the hoof.
Commercial heifers at the Navarro County Youth Expo were judged Tuesday by David Groschke, who has been the Limestone County Extension Agent for the last eight years. He looked for solid cattle features that would breed well and carry another generation of solid beef cattle, not pretty coiffures.
Winner of that part of the competition was an American spring heifer owned by Garrett Berry, a 14-year-old with Kerens FFA. Berry has been competing since he was in third grade, he said.
Because this isn’t his first Expo, Berry said he knows what the judges are looking for, and he usually has his record book well in hand before the spring shows, but not this year.
“This year I waited until the last minute, but it’s the same thing every year,” Berry said.
Beyond the cow’s natural attributes, the division is also judged based on the record books, an exam the students take, and an interview with the judge.
“This is a good way to get a scholarship and help me learn more about cattle,” Berry said.
The overall winners of the commercial heifer competition will be announced at 5 p.m. Thursday, immediately before the annual steer competition.
Other exhibitors received the following places in the following divisions: British, spring A, Cody Carroll of Blooming Grove FFA, first; Zane Haden of Blooming Grove FFA, second; Katie Haden, also of Blooming Grove FFA, third; Rhett Strange, Kerens FFA, fourth; Rauston Smith, Kerens FFA, fifth. British Spring B: Rebecca Craig of Frost FFA, first; Madison Revill, Frost FFA, second; Caleb Curl, Frost FFA, third; Madison Curl, Frost FFA, fourth; and Emma Haden, Blooming Grove 4H, fifth. British Fall: Katie Haden, first; Zane Haden, second; Caleb Curl, third; Jacob Blake, Frost FFA, fourth. American Spring: Garrett Berry, Kerens FFA, first; Cody Carroll, second; James Metcalfe, Rice FFA, third. American Fall, Ashton Metcalfe, Rice FFA, first.
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