It only takes a few minutes to see the passion and determination in youth participants as they show their calves. The calves are set up, and the students keep their eyes locked on the judges. Showing cattle can be a rewarding experience, and for those that want more, the Junior Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association is a great organization to be apart of.
The organization currently has around 100 members, and students earn points towards end of the year season awards, based on how they place at the different shows. The shows are sanctioned to be part of the organization, and exhibitors can earn points for every animal they show, as well as showmanship.
“For every show that options to sanction the members can get points depending on how they place,” said Morgan Quinn, the president of the group.
The season starts in November of each year and runs through the middle of September of the next year. There are different divisions for all of the breeds, as well as market heifers, market steers and showmanship.
Being involved in the Junior Nebraska Cattlemen has allowed Quinn to show her animals all over the state, as well as network with other showmen.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to get out there and show their animals. It is expensive to show cattle, and so this is a great way for our members to get rewarded for their dedication. They can show off the hard work they put in during the year,” she said.
She continued, “Our junior members put in a lot of time and effort. They are a great bunch to work with, and they are all super hard working. I love seeing them out there. We all get along so great.”
At each show, exhibitors can earn two points per animal exhibited just for participating, with no limit on the number of animals that can be shown. They receive addition point for breed champions and reserve champions at the rate of five and three points respectively.
A Supreme champion will earn the exhibitor more points depending on the size of the show. Reserve champions also receive points. Supreme champions are chosen in both the breeding and market divisions.
Members must exhibit a particular breed in at least three shows throughout the year in order to receive points for that breed. For overall ranking at the end of the year, only the two highest placing breeds will count towards the total points. At each show, only the two highest placing animals owned by one exhibitor in a particular breed will accumulate points.
“I enjoy the experience. It’s something that when I walk into the ring, I know that I want to be there and it’s what I want to do. I instantly fell in love. I also enjoy networking with the people who will help me along the way, and meeting new friends. I consider my family huge, and my show family is part of that,” said Quinn.
The awards at the end of the year are given in each breed, as well as an overall winner. Prizes include stools, jackets, blankets and more. The cost to join is $25 for the first year, and $30 for a renewal.
“The Junior Nebraska Cattlemen is a great organization to be apart of. You meet so many people that put a huge impact on your life. Working in this organization has taught me a lot about working as a team. No, not everyone will agree on everything, but we will come to a conclusion, and everyone will have an input,” said Tarrin Quinn, who serves on the Board of Directors.
The Quinn sisters have been involved in the organization for many years, and attend shows all over the state. “For me showing cattle is not just a hobby, it is a job that I absolutely love. My family and I may not go to every show, but the ones we do go to, we enjoy every moment of them,” she said.
She continued, “Being in an environment where people are family oriented and thankful for what they have got is always the best feeling. I also like to help the younger kids that show interest in showing, because it takes me back to the time when I was little and first starting out. Everyone that I have met along my show journey has put some sort of impact on my life.”
They got into beef cattle when they were young, even though they did not grow up on a cattle ranch. “We were at the county fair and we happened to walk into where the beef show was being held. I told my dad, I want to do this one day. My uncle raises beef cows, and we would get the bottle babies and show bucket calves. Then, once we were old enough to show in 4-H, we started showing market and breeding cattle,” said Morgan Quinn.
She bought her first breeding heifer in 2008, and Morgan and Tarrin then began to build up their own beef herd. “We are up to 25 cows now, and each year we each show two market animals a piece,” she said.
Their herd consists of Simmental, SimAngus and Hereford cattle. The girls use artificial insemination to breed their cows, and have had great success the past few years with it.
In fact, Morgan had the Grand Champion Market Heifer, who was also the Overall Champion Market Animal at the Stanton County Fair this year. She was also the Champion Senior Showman.
“Showmanship is my favorite part of showing. I think it truly shows how dedicated someone is to her cattle. My sister and I do all the work on our cattle and it shows. We work with them all the time. Showmanship is the true test of how much work you put into your animals. I love everything about it,” said Quinn.
Both girls are currently attending college. Morgan goes to school at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, where she is studying animal biology and nutrition. At the end of this year she plans on attending South Dakota State University to finish her undergraduate program, and then plans on receiving her doctorate in genetics.
Tarrin is attending school in Wayne at Wayne State College, where she is studying agricultural business with a concentration in finance. “In all reality there are several jobs I can take part in with this major but the one I would like to do is be a banker and disperse loans to farmers. I would like to give back to the farmers because they have helped me out tremendously,” she said.
While the girls are away at school, their parents help them take care of their cattle. “Right now they are out on pasture, and my dad is always out checking them. I’m not that far from my home town, so when I get out of class I go home and check too. It’s a family affair for us,” said Morgan Quinn.
Both girls love being apart of the organization, and feel that opportunities they have been given have helped them along their life path.
“The best part of the association is working with the group of people that I do. Everyone is friendly and willing to help each other out if needed,” said Tarrin Quinn. ❖
“The Junior Nebraska Cattlemen is a great organization to be apart of. You meet so many people that put a huge impact on your life. Working in this organization has taught me a lot about working as a team. No, not everyone will agree on everything, but we will come to a conclusion, and everyone will have an input.”
~ Tarrin Quinn