The Charolais Junior National Show, held at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Grand Island, Neb., June 17-22 brought in some of the nationals best cattle.
Jason Hoffman of Thedford, Neb., evaluated the bulls, steers, percentage heifers and bred & owned heifers on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds in Grand Island, Neb. Juniors from 19 states exhibited 173 entries for championship honors and scholarship dollars. The owned heifer show took place on Friday, June 22. The 235 entries from 23 states were judged by Jack Ward, Plattsburg, Mo.
Hosted by the Nebraska Charolais Association, 255 juniors from 24 states, competed in leadership activities and contests. In addition, 235 adults were registrants. Throughout the week, an estimated 1,500 plus people attended the event.
Competing at a junior national show can be intimidating for many youth. However, for Chance Bauman from Cheyenne, Wyo., it was in his blood.
Bauman has competed at the junior nationals every year since 2003. He came home with several ribbons, and the Herdsman of the Year award. He follows in the footsteps of his older sister, Kassi, who won the same award in 2008.
“I didn’t know if I would win the show, I certainly wasn’t counting on it, but of course I wanted it. Then when it happened, it just thought, holy cow, it happened,” Bauman said.
He added, “It was nice to see my hard work and dedication pay off in the end. It’s a neat opportunity that doesn’t come around every day of the week. Being herdsman of the year was really cool too.”
He showed two top placing heifers. The first, named NS Ms Jail Bait 1415, was named the Reserve Grand Champion in Division II. “This one, she looked good and I thought she would do well, and she did,” he said.
The second he showed was the Division III champion, and the Reserve Grand Champion Owned Female. The second is named KASS Samantha 120Y, and she was the heifer he was most excited about. “I knew this heifer was going to be hard to beat. I thought, we might do some good this year, and we did,” Bauman stated.
Bauman, the son of John and Pat Bauman, is a seventh generation cattlemen and has been showing cattle since he was just 9-years-old. He said, “I grew up around cattle. It was one of those things you grow up in it, and then it takes off for you personally.”
He continued, “The show cattle business is all about the people and the connections you meet. You might only see those people at shows, and it’s a good time to talk cows and calves. The older I get, it’s kind of neat to market to other juniors and to get to know their operations as well. We are there to help them.”
The ranch, headquartered out of Cheyenne, spans into Colorado as well. Currently Bauman owns around 30 cattle, 10 of which are used as donor cattle in his embryo transfer program. He takes the best cattle out of his herd, breeds them, and then flushes the embryos out to be implanted in other cattle.
The Reserve Bred and Owned female that he exhibited will calve next year, and then she will become a donor cow. Some of the cattle produce hundreds of embryos in their lifetime, so to be selected for this elite group is special.
“I have one cow who is 6, and she’s had three calves on her own and I probably have 120 embryos on her already. On a bad flush she will give me 18 eggs, and I’ve gotten as many 27 good eggs. She’s a great producer. She will stay in the donor program as long as she can,” Bauman said.
The majority of the embryos are then frozen, and will be used at a later date. “We freeze a lot of them. A handful we will put in if we have recips available. If not we freeze them,” he said.
The Charolais breed has made many changes over the years, but Bauman doesn’t follow the trends. He breeds cattle that he thinks works best for their operation, and that he likes.
“In the 50s and 60s they were smaller, then in the 70s and 80s they were huge. They are still bigger cows, but we are starting to see it go down again. We aren’t a typical Charolais breeder though. My main focus is on producing high quality cows. They need to be good structured cows, and the main thing is just getting these cattle bred. We can’t afford to feed one that is open. Reproduction is very important,” he said.
He added, “I plan on continuing with the donor program and producing good, functional cattle. They might not be everything the industry wants, but to me they are good and going in the right direction.”
Winning at the junior national show this year was very special to Bauman, but his most fond memory was at his first junior national show.
“It was in Mississippi that year. This little heifer calf that was mine showed pretty well. I was sitting second or third in the class, and I kept showing her and the judge got on the microphone moved me to first. He got on the microphone and said he moved me because I was doing a good job continuing to show her. He said, “This kid could show under me, and I wouldn’t be embarrassed.” To me that was pretty cool. That was my first year out and I was 13, so it’s always stuck with me,” Bauman said.
Bauman recently received his associate’s degree from Laramie County Community College, and also recently received his auctioneer’s diploma.
“For me, when it’s all said and done, I still want to be an auctioneer and sell livestock. I would like to expand and get to know people and break into that market a little more. I’ll have more free time and not be busy with school, so now I can focus on that,” he said.
In addition to raising cattle and being an aspiring auctioneer, Bauman also sells Vitaferm mineral and feed supplements, as well as operating a show supply business with his sister called Bauman Supplies LTD.
“We were approached in Denver, Colo., and thought about it and then me and my sister talked about it and had a go at it. We called them up (Sullivan’s) and said we wanted more info and told them yes we would do it. Now we are a traveling dealer for them. The neat thing about it is to actually learn both sides of the fence now. We can help everyone out,” he said.
He continued, “I want to expand and get more connections. It’s a lot like the real estate market. It’s ok once you get broke into it, and once you get your name out there, it just takes off. We are excited to see where it will go,” he said. ❖
“The show cattle business is all about the people and the connections you meet. You might only see those people at shows, and it’s a good time to talk cows and calves. The older I get, it’s kind of neat to market to other juniors and to get to know their operations as well. We are there to help them.”
~ Chance Bauman