Lauren Rogers, 17 of Terrell, Texas, knew from a young age agriculture was her future. “My brother was involved in FFA before I was old enough to participate.” She says, “I would go to the barn with him every chance I could and loved every minute of it!”
Lauren finally started showing on her own at age 8, moving up to cattle at 10, a small age for showing cattle. “I began showing zebu because I felt safer with the miniature cattle.” She explains, “I showed larger breeds later on, but zebu continue to be my favorite. I just fell in love with the breed. I love the history of zebu, their characteristics, and the personality of zebu.”
She has also embraced the unique challenges of breeding with zebu. “You have to wait until they are a little older than other cattle breeds.” She says, “And you have to be careful with their feed to make sure you have a chance at breeding, which can be a balance for competition in the show arena.”
Lauren’s love of zebu and hard work with the breed paid off last year when her zebu won Grand Champion at the State Fair of Texas. “I felt so many emotions!” she says, “My zebu was fully bred and ready to give birth very soon. There were others that had just given birth and had a calf at their side. I was so uncertain we would catch the judge’s eye. When we won, I felt so much pride in all the hard work it took to get there.”
Lauren credits her win to those who helped her along the way. “My brother taught me everything when I was little and helping him in the barn. Later, my FFA advisors took over with my own animals and I learned so much from them. The FFA parent booster club has been amazing. They make sure we have all the equipment we need and pay for our conferences. It’s such a big help. My family has also been a huge support, they attend all my shows, purchase my feed, help me in the barn; they just do so much I can’t list it all!” she says.
This year’s winning zebu was purchased from Chris Jones at the Triangle J ranch and went through a routine perfected over ten years. “I raise my show animals at my school’s livestock barn. After school we walk our animals as a team and also independently.” They also make sure their animals have the best nutrition. “I have always used Hi-Pro feed on my animals.” Lauren explains. “I first chose it because my advisor recommended it. I have continued to use it because I like the results I see in my cattle. I have used Hi-Pro for 7 years and it has given great results in my show animals. I especially like the ability to switch between the Developer and Finisher to gain the results that I need.”
For Lauren, it’s the shows that make all the hard work worth it. “I love livestock shows. I enjoy watching others in the show arena, meeting new people, and spending extra me with my own animals. Since this was my last year, I wanted to make the most of every show and leave each one with great memories with or without those ribbons and banners.” She says, “This year I got all those memories and still came home with ribbons and banners!”
Congratulations to Lauren and her winning zebu. Hi-Pro Feeds is proud to support enterprising youth in agriculture. For more information on our Show feeds, click here.