DES MOINES - Competition is always important, and winning is always excellent.
But sometimes the fun of it all and family time spent together is what means the most.
Bruce and Amy Walrod, and their children, Bailey, Katie and Carson, have been spending many days this summer traveling to cattle shows and participating during most of the 12-day run of the Iowa State Fair. Showing cattle is a family affair.
-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Bailey Walron helps clip one of the family’s Limousin steers in preparation for a show at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 14.
"I have fun," said Bailey Walrod, 17. "I see people from the open shows I compete at all summer. It's like a family."
The Walrods, from Moorland, and owners of Flatland Limousin, spent Aug. 11 through Aug. 15 at the Iowa State Fair showing five of their best from their cow/calf pair herd and enjoying the fair.
"There's been plenty of time to see everything at the fair," she said.
This is the second year the Walrods have been showing at the Iowa State Fair.
"We have always come to the fair, and I would see other kids showing and I wanted to do that down here and we finally got Dad talked in to it," Walrod said.
She showed her purebred Limousin heifer and purebred Limousin steer at the state fair.
Her steer was a 4-H calf and was shown on Aug. 15 in the market steer show, while her heifer was her FFA project and she competed on Aug. 13 in the open Limousin show, receiving sixth place in her class.
Walrod has been involved with 4-H in Webster County and FFA at Prairie Valley High School since she was old enough to join. Although she didn't show at the Webster County Fair this year, competing with her calves still took up much her summer.
Walrod said her family started showing at the Limousin Field Day in Osceola in June, then traveled to the Heartland Regional show in Springfield, Mo., then onto the National Limousin Junior Show and Congress, held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in July, and now to the Iowa State Fair.
"This has been a fun way to meet new people," Walrod said, "especially at the fair you get to see people from all over.
"At the Iowa State Fair, you might be stalled next to someone from southern Iowa, for example, not just someone from your own county."
Livestock, especially Limousin cattle, have been a part of the Walrod family for almost 40 years.
"Our first Limousin bull was bought in 1973 and livestock has always been a part of my family," she said. "It's how I've grown up - always around livestock."
Bruce Walrod said, "I have always had an interest in cattle, I love it. As for the kids, there's a work ethic and they get to meet friends and doing this together we have kids doing things with us.
"We know where they are and what they are doing. It's a family thing."
Bailey Walrod said her family has chosen to raise Limousin cattle because of the breed's hardiness to handle the winter; more muscle mass; higher meat quality and its docility level "is amazing."