Name: Kate Shaffer
Parents: Doug & Judy Shaffer, twin brother Will
School: 7th grade Carthage Middle School
How have you been involved with agriculture in the past?
“I have always helped with chores on the farm. We have to feed and water the Charolais every day. I own four of my own cows and those are the ones I’ve shown at fairs and shows in the past. Each of those cows has had a couple of calves. It’s always a lot of fun during calving season,” said Kate. She grew up on the family farm and has always been hand-on involved in the production of the cattle. The Shaffer family also has some cross-bred cattle as a commercial herd. Kate added, “Our family owns probably somewhere around 20 head of Charolais and around 30 of the crossbred cows.”
What does your participation in showing cattle involve?
“To get prepared for showing season we get up early every single day to wash and feed our Charolais. We work with their hair and fit them to get them ready for showing. For the day to day training, we catch them, tie them up and brush them for a long time. In warmer weather we catch them everyday, feed them, wash and blow dry their hair and work with them to get them used to being around us. We’ll walk with them and they become really gentle around people,” said Kate of her showing experiences.
What are some of your goals for the future?
Kate wants to have a farm when she gets older. She added, “I’d like to win Junior Nationals. That would be pretty cool! I always want to raise Charolais Show Cattle in the future. I’m going to continue showing as long as I can. That will be my FFA project in high school. I want to be involved in the FFA as much as I can. Mostly I’m just looking forward to continuing showing.”
What's your favorite part of being involved with the family farm?
Kate said, “It’s fun to be on the farm and I really enjoy getting to go places with showing. I like working with cattle. I really enjoy the animals a lot! I love the shows. I like being able to meet up with all of my friends and actually showing the cattle is a really exciting and rewarding experience. My show cattle here on the farm are really spoiled. We’ve got a great relationship; I pamper them a lot. One of mine even knows how to open the gates! I love being involved here.”