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March 2, 2012

Mooo-ving on

Last county show new experience for Miller

DUNCAN — It’s been two years since Comanche FFA had any students showing cattle during the Stephens County Junior Livestock Show.

This year, that changed.

Hayli Miller, Comanche FFA president, chose to show cattle this year, despite it being her senior year. In the livestock show, she worked both a steer and a heifer through their paces in the show ring.

“I was running for office of the state FFA and thought (cattle showing) would put me in a different barn,” Miller said. “I also decided to go out with a bang my senior year.”

Miller has shown hogs for nine years. This is her first and last year to show cattle. Once she graduates, she will no longer be showing animals during the Junior Livestock Show.

With this being her first attempt at showing cattle, Miller received a lot of help; help  from her parents, agriculture advisors and other FFA chapter students.

At the Junior Livestock Show, her cattle were pin mates with cattle from Central High. She said the Central High students were helpful in getting prepared for the event.

“It always helps to have more hands,” Miller said.

Although this year marks the one and only time Miller will show cattle, she isn’t just representing herself in the competition. Miller is an ambassador for Comanche as the only student showing cattle.

“I’m proud of my school,” she said. “It puts us out there on the map.”

Comanche agriculture teacher Jacey Fye said it’s makes a significant impact on an FFA chapter when a student steps up to represent the chapter and the school.

Fye felt it promotes pride among the students, and it gets other students thinking about participating in that competition next year.

“It’s probably been two years since Comanche has had a steer show at county,” Fye said. “It’s been good for the chapter to compete in this species.”

Miller has learned a lot about cattle since she started showing. Because she is used to showing hogs, she didn’t realize how different the species were to show.

While she can physically nudge hogs around to do as she needs, the cattle, which are much larger, have the ability to push her around instead.

“It’s a lot more work than I though it was going to be,” Miller said.

Still, showing cattle should help Miller in preparing for a career aspirations. She plans to attend Oklahoma State University to major in agriculture education.

The cattle competition wasn’t just about making the premium sale or learning to deal with heifers and steer.

The competition also promoted synergy among the area FFA chapters, as students worked together to help one another.

Miller said the livestock show gave her a chance to interact with students from her chapter and other FFA chapters.

Through these shows, she has gotten to meet many peers from around the county.

“(I enjoy) getting to hang out with my friends, while doing something I enjoy,” Miller said.

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