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East County Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 7 years ago

East County teens compete in national cattle trade show

by: Pam Eubanks Senior Editor

EAST COUNTY —  Meet Carolina.

With dark black hair, this two-year-old beauty has a sweet disposition and already has won championship titles for her good figure.

At 1,200 pounds, the Chimaine heifer couldn’t make a better replacement heifer for prospective buyers.

“She’s the top of her class in that regard,” said 17-year-old Clint Thum, a student at Lakewood Ranch High School, who will theoretically try to sell the heifer to judges during the team-marketing competition at the 2010 Cattle Industry Convention and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show in San Antonio, Texas, later this month.

Using a slide presentation, Thum and fellow Myakka resident Courtney Wingate, 14, who is home-schooled, but attends an agriculture class at Braden River High School, will try to convince judges that Carolina will make a top-notch heifer for breeding or other uses. Wingate will focus on the heifer’s physical attributes and temperament, while Thum will highlight her breeding.

“She was actually one we raised, so she’s been around people all her life,” Wingate said.

The Manatee County youths, who are attending the competition as members of the Manatee County Junior Cattlemen’s Association, an affiliate of the Manatee County Cattlemen’s Association, will be joined by teammate Samantha Newman of Hillsborough County.

Besides competing in the team-marketing category, the youths also will compete in cattle-livestock judging, where they will rank cows based on their physical attributes in hopes that their top choices will match those of a real judge.

Additionally, Thum will compete in the Quiz Bowl, which is similar to the television show, “Jeopardy,” but
focuses on topics related to the beef industry.

The youths said they couldn’t be more excited about the challenge and to represent the state and their community in a national competition.

“It’s awesome; it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Wingate said of the trip to Texas, for which the teens qualified after winning at state competition. “It’s so important because our cattle industry is dying because of a lack of pasture and people (not caring).”

Thum agreed.

“It’s a chance to get your name out there and to represent the cattle industry — keep it growing,” he said.
Both youths help oversee the care of more than 30 cattle, rising just after 5 a.m. each day to feed, water and groom the animals, and both have entered livestock in this year’s fair, as well.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

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