Source: Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
At the 2016 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, 13-year-old Kendyll Williams of the Walker County 4-H club showed a steer she named Oatmeal that placed fourth in the lightweight European Cross division of the Junior Steer Show. The steer was eligible for the Stock Show’s Junior Sale of Champions and was subsequently sold to Kane Beef Company in Corpus Christi for processing.
Upon learning the steer had cataracts, members of the veterinary community and others began exploring opportunities to further understanding and education on the steer’s condition in a university setting. Fort Worth Stock Show Vice President Charlie Geren, who also serves as Texas State Representative for House District 99, took the initiative by contacting Texas A&M University.
Discussions between Geren and Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp and other system officials resulted in an agreement for the Stock Show to donate the steer to Texas A&M University. The College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will collaborate for purposes of clinical evaluation and student education opportunities with the steer. The Stock Show has released Kane Beef Company’s obligation to process the steer exhibited by Williams.
“This arrangement furthers the Stock Show’s mission of educating tomorrow’s leaders in the livestock and food industry,” said Geren. “We’re excited about what can be learned about the health and well-being of cattle and perhaps provide the beef industry with valuable information related to cattle care and handling for the future.”
Participation in 4-H and FFA programs teach youth invaluable lessons not only in the importance of the livestock industry, but also life lessons in responsibility, the rewards of hard work and personal character. Many 4-H and FFA participants grow up to be leaders in their communities, not only as farmers and ranchers but also as doctors, teachers, lawyers and public servants. The Fort Worth Stock Show is extremely proud of its long history as an important training ground for the young men and women who will lead the U.S. livestock and food industry.