SPOKANE — The best part of raising a market animal is showing it, say participants in the annual Junior Livestock Show of Spokane.
“Putting time and effort in and seeing it pay off,” said Cade Lyyski, a high school senior in Ellensburg, Wash., when asked his favorite part.
Lyyski showed the Grand Champion FFA Market Steer. It was his 10th year at the show.
“It’s something my mom, aunt and uncle (did) when they were kids, so it’s kind of a tradition at this point,” he said.
He hoped to sell his steer, although his family tends to buy its steers back as the family meat supply for the year, he said.
“Fitting and showing is my favorite, because it’s based on you, so I can control what I do,” said Madison Dixon, a 10th-grader from Pomeroy, Wash., who was showing and selling beef cattle. “Market is based on how my cattle look, preparing them, making sure they’ve had enough to eat, are the right weight and they look good.”
She’s been showing in Spokane since she was in third grade. She hoped to get about $3 per pound to cover her costs.
“As it starts to get close to the show, you’re working with them every day so they’re calm and know what you want in the ring,” she said. “It takes a lot of time but it’s fun and it’s worth it, because you get to come to the fair. I love coming here. ... It’s a great experience.”
Ty Davis, seventh-grader at Lakeland Junior High School in Rathdrum, Idaho, showed a heifer he plans to keep to breed. His father, Eddie Davis, said they have a calf sale every fall, selling 70 calves.
This was Ty’s fifth year showing at the Spokane show.
While the show is one of his favorite parts, he said he also likes calving season.
“You do have to wake up in the middle of the night to make sure no one’s having a baby, but it’s that moment when one of them is having a baby ... when you get to deliver a calf, that’s always a nice feeling,” he said.
The Junior Livestock Show of Spokane continues through May 5.