It is that time of year again. While it may seem like we just finished the last show project, it is now time to be thinking about picking your project for the new year. This is a time of great excitement for many young people. But it may be a time of worry and anxiety for parents. We always hope to find the perfect animal for our kids. While there is no magic formula, there are a few things you can do and remember to help make this process smoother and more enjoyable.
1. First and foremost make sure that your kids understand what your goals are for this project. While we all want to win and be competitive, it is important that we teach our kids that there will be winners and losers in each and every show and that you can't win them all. So, know what your goals are.
2. Know your target weight for your end show. It is important that you are picking a calf that can realistically be in your target weight range at the right time.
3. Know and Research your breeder. Build a relationship with breeders of show cattle so that you feel comfortable with their practices and methods. This is a step that we sometimes skip over but is so important. Buy your cattle from people you can trust.
4. Know what you are looking for in terms of comformation and characteristics. Do your research if you are new to choosing show animals. Go to shows and look at the winners and what makes them attractive to the judge. Talk to others in the show circuit and get any info you can on what makes a good show animal.
5. Know your experience level. Pick a calf witha temperament to match your experience level. Be cautious when going to sales, as not every seller is going to be forthwright on the attitude of the calves they are selling. That is why it is important to trust your seller.
Enjoy your time picking your next project. This is a journey that you are on and should be fun. Take a friend or mentor with you to sales or farms and pick the calf that you feel will be perfect for you during your next show season.