At 18 years old, Kindal Smith of Logan, NM has 11 years of showing steers under her belt. Kindal has shown steers, heifers, goats and sheep. If that wasn’t enough to vouch for her expertise, she has generations of family experience to draw upon in the show ring. “My sister and I have our own show herd that we raise.” Kindal explains “It’s something my family has done for a long time, my dad, my aunt, and my grandpa. We AI our show cows, then we are able to show some of our own calves we raised.”
Kindal started showing at 7 years old, and wasn’t worried about handling such a large animal. “My parents chose gentle steers so I would be safe. It was really challenging, but my older sister taught me and showed me what I needed to do.”
The Smith family certainly knows what they are doing. They start with halter breaking, as well as daily washes and clips so the hair grows in right. Additionally, they keep a cool room in the barn to stimulate the hair growth. This rigorous attention to detail only becomes a struggle when it comes to the alarm clock. “I’m a sleeper!” Kindal says “I love to sleep. So waking up at 6am to start the routine can be hard. Every day, at 6am, I start my daily routine with my steers, washing and blowing and then into the cool room. I get done about 1pm, come home, do my school work, and then I’m back in the barn to feed around 8 or 9pm.”
The only feed that will do for these top-notch steers, is Hi-Pro Show Finisher. “We feed that from the very beginning to the end. The cattle are strictly on pasture until we bring them into the show barn, and then it’s Hi-Pro Show Finisher.” She explains “We’ve fed that from the very beginning and love how it puts weight on my steers. It’s a good feed that is very consistent throughout every bag.”
Of course, all the hard work pays off in the show ring. “Every time I walk into the show ring, before I get super nervous.” Kindal says “Whenever the judge comes to shake your hand and touch your steer and tell you that you won it’s a great feeling. It just gives me an awesome feeling! It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s my passion.”
But, what if you can’t step into that show ring? What if shows are limited, or cancelled altogether? Kindal says, 2020 was tough. ”Because of the coronavirus we haven’t been able to do our normal show stuff this year. Our shows have been very limited. I went to several Jackpots and our NMSF was a virtual show all online. For the NMSF we took pictures of my animals and submit them online with a video and then the judges would go through and pick which one they liked the best. It was very different. I missed going to shows and seeing all my friends and meeting new people. It’s so much more fun to be around my friends while you do what I love.” Still, Kindal kept her head up and adapted, winning Reserve Grand Champion New Mexico Bred steer at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair and the New Mexico Expo as well as Champion Limousine steer at the New Mexico State Fair and NM Expo. She also won Reserve Grand Champion goat at the New Mexico State Fair.
In spite of a hard year, Kindal Smith stepped up, and it paid off. Now, she looks forward to her future with plans to go to college and earn her Ag Communications and Journalism degree.
Hi-Pro Feeds is proud to support youth in agriculture. For more information on our show feeds, click here.