CALHAN — Cattle care keeps 8-year-old Ava Belanger busy.
“I have one steer and two heifers,” Belanger said.
She’s put in hours of work to show off cattle, only to hear the 2021 National Western Stock Show in Denver was postponed to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The youth work really hard with their animals. You know, this is a major commitment for them. A lot of times it’s a major commitment for the entire family, both in time and finance you know, financial,” said Karyn Miller, show manager of the All Breed Jackpot Junior Show.
“A lot of our animals age out at stock show. So, that’s usually their last show year and so, it’s pretty disappointing when you’ve worked with that animal for so long and you look forward to taking that animal it’s last year to the stock show. Also, not being able to sell your animal at stock show, that’s a big thing. You make a lot of money you know, people come through and they see your animal and they want to buy that animal, even just as pets sometimes. But usually, for beef, it’s a pretty big sale opportunity for us,” said Kezia Goebel, a long time cattle show competitor.
Belanger will still get to show off her hard work on October 11th, at the Open All Breed Jackpot Junior Show in Calhan.
The show was quickly organized as a way to let kids who would have gone to the National Western Stock Show showcase what they’ve been working on.
“That will include 4-H kids or any breed organization kids,” Miller said.
The show will be complete with judges and prizes.
“This is a jackpot, so all the money that we raise, every single penny, goes right back to the kids. And they’ll be paid cash that day,” Miller said.
Show organizers say so far, they’ve raised $3,000, but hope to raise a total of $6,000.
“Usually it goes right back to the cows. There can be profit in it, but a lot of times it does go right back to your next animal, the next show prospect that you’re going to bring in to stock show the next year. Or of course, feed,” Goebel said.
Organizers say putting the cattle show together has been a community effort, with Painted Skull Ranch donating the use of their facility and sponsors putting together photography and prizes.
“I just want to have fun, and that’s it,” Belanger said.
For more information on being a sponsor or participating in the cattle show, contact Karyn at (719) 375-9027.