Seventeen-year-old Madison Peterson isn't a stranger to her talents showcasing Brahman heifers becoming a featured story.
At 5 years old, Peterson made the August 2007 cover of The Brahman Journal, an accomplishment the December 2007 issue of Explore Corsicana compared as "the equivalent to being on the cover of Time Magazine”.
The Blooming Grove High School student has shown no signs of slowing down in 2019, having recently become a three-time "All American" winner from the All-American Junior National Brahman Show that took place from June 30 to July 1 at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana, Arkansas.
The titles she claimed during this exhibition were: Grand Champion Showman, Grand Champion Gray Female, Grand Champion F1 Female, and Reserve Grand Champion Red Female.
Winning the All-American title in one of these shows takes a lot of hard work and dedication, having to compete with over three-hundred and fifty other young exhibitionists, including one of her long-time friends that has always previously won.
Peterson explained the work it takes to make one of these prized Brahman calves look its best, including how to properly walk them, adopting a good stance for the calf look to thicker for the judges, and how to make a calf stand out from the rest of the herd.
"You don't want to be the one the judges see," Peterson explained. "You want them to see the cow."
Peterson's family are all long-time animal lovers and have created a display wall for her exhibition achievements in their family home. The display is impressive as she pointed out this year's All-American accomplishments.
"People work their whole life to get just one," Peterson said, pointing out this month's recent additions to her collection. A long-time competitor, 2019 marked her first year to claim the All-American title. She has worked with Val Walters and Rodney Finch, who helped her meet her goal of champion showman. Peterson recalled that during 2018's show in Perry, Georgia, Finch had said to her: "We're going to get you a title."
"If you have one of those, you're doing good," she added. Her words are more than pride. They are a reflection of a lifetime of commitment to her craft.
Peterson has already spent the first half of this year "doing good." In addition to her All-American titles, she was awarded Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Bull, Reserve Grand Champion Bred and Owned Heifer, Reserve Grand Champion Gray female, Grand Champion Red Bull at June's Texas Junior Brahman Association State Show in Bryan. Peterson also serves as the current TJBA president for the 2019-2020 term, having previous served as vice-president.
Peterson's start began with her first heifer that her parents bought from her at the Tic Tac Toe Ranch, owned by Max and Shirley Watts. It was here where Peterson found her love with Brahman cows. Her time working in the barn with her mother, Ronda, taught her a lot about the care and understanding of these gentle creatures.
As part of the interview, Peterson showed off two other highlights: A young white bull named "Diablo" that, despite its namesake, was quite friendly and paused for nose pettings.
Peterson also showed off another full wall collection that hung over her bed. This one, however, was not awards and banners, but photos of a lifetime of posing with her most beloved Brahmans from her long career, mixed with group shots of friends that she shared her many show experiences with.
Outside of her very active career raising and showing Brahmans, Peterson also keeps busy with volleyball, softball and track, is an active member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America, 4H, yearbook, student council, a reporter for FCCLA, and is ranked second in her class.
When she graduates from high school, Peterson, plans to go to Sam Houston to pursue a degree in agricultural business, and will already have 45 hours of college credit upon graduation.