By Steve Rickman
Not often do younger siblings have bragging rights when it comes to showing livestock, but for one night at the Henderson County Fair Jr. Livestock Show, a fifth grader from Chester County Middle School, Bristol Cherry, beat out all the competition and claimed Supreme Champion Female. This was the first time that Bristol has won the big prize in her young career of showing cattle. Older sister Sydney Cherry (10th grader) at Chester County High School has done it a few times, but now they both share that honor. Bristol also won Champion Hereford Female, beating out Sydney who had Reserve Champion Female.
The two sisters have been traveling all summer to various livestock show with normally three heifers, but one of those girls, which they call Sally, is at home resting and preparing to have a baby calf any day now. The other two heifers are embryo transfer full sisters born on Sept. 8, 2020, and they have been battling it out all summer. When it comes to showing livestock, it all comes down to the judge at each particular show to select the winners. Most livestock people would tell you no two shows are the same, but on the other hand, that is what makes it fun and yes sometimes frustrating.
Watching the two sisters work together for the common goal and compete against one another is not uncommon at all when it comes to families showing livestock. Matter of fact some would call it a tradition that started many years ago in the show ring and on the farm. Brings back great memories for me when I was in 4-H back in the day showing Polled Hereford heifers and steers. But I had it tougher than Bristol does, because I had two older sisters, and one older brother. You talk about competition, they were hard to beat. I can not recall beating them very often at all, maybe I got lucky a few times. Bet my mom would remember, maybe I will give her a call after I finish writing this news article. What I do remember like it was yesterday, is all the hard work, sweat, tears, fun, and wonderful memories we shared. Bristol and I have a few things in common that she did not even know – what are they you ask? One and most importantly is our love for animals, especially cows. Most people that know us would say yes and they sure do love their Polled Herefords, and we both would agree. Second thing is we both had an older sibling to teach us everything they know and more about showing cattle and taking care of them. That kind of help and love does not come from reading a book or browsing the web. Third thing we share is none of this would have been possible without the support of our parents, and extended family.
September is my favorite month on the calendar as a 4-H agent. This is the month that we normally begin 4-H clubs with our schools. Every year here in Chester county we have approximately 225 new students who become 4-H members for the first time. You have all the livestock shows going on at the county fairs weekly, and we finally get to start livestock judging practices again. Most athletes would tell you they do not like practice, they just want to play the games. This is not true when it comes to 4-H livestock judging practice in Chester County. These students can not wait to get started every year because they are competitive. We kicked off our fall practices with a fun trip to the TN State Fair livestock judging contest, and then yesterday we traveled to UT Martin for a livestock judging clinic. It is not too late to get on the team, we will resume practicing in a couple of weeks. If you are interested, please call your local UT Extension-Chester County office at 989-2103 and always follow our Facebook @ UT Extension-Chester County for all 4-H news and events.