Raising livestock is a family project for McArthurs
Erika McArthur spends a good deal of time getting ready for the Southeastern Utah Junior Livestock show each year as well as other shows around the region. She raises steers and her current work in progress is Grumpy Old Man which is a Maintainer breed. Erika starts each November after the cows are brought in off the mountain. After the steer is weaned then she begins feeding the steer. The steer is taught to lead and Erika begins exercising the steer as she leads him around the corral. The steer is fed hay and grain throughout the winter.
In March and April she starts washing the animal and getting him used to it. The summer hair begins to grow. The steer is rinsed for 15 minutes which helps to cool them off and make them more comfortable.
The steer is walked around the corral so it learns what is expected from him. Erika trims the hair around the steer's feet. The walks help to tone the steer. A lot of how the steer is made up in relation to fat in the meat is genetics. When the steer walks in the corral it helps put fat into the muscle so you get a good fat cover. Erika said she has to walk her heifer more than the steers. Her heifer is in the breeding stock category.
Erika's father Korey McArthur from Huntington helps his children a lot with their animals. He has raised animals forever and now he's passing this love for the animals on to his children.
Erika said, "It's really fun to travel all over with our animals. I love it. We've been to the Heber City show and we are going to the Rocky Mountain show. Each animal accumulates points at the shows. The last show is the end of October. My steer is up for sale, but we keep our breeding stock. My heifer's name is Blue Belle. A heifer is a cow that hasn't had a calf yet. A steer is a castrated bull that's not needed for breeding. We found Blue Belle off the internet. She is from Iowa and from one of the top farms there the Trouch farms. We met the raiser in Denver and brought her home."
Korey said, "We have a small commercial herd. In the summer we run up Scofield and we feed them through the winter."
Erika said, "I've had a lot of fun with my animals. I have learned responsibility. I have to feed them by 7 a.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. Getting ready for the stock show is also a lot of work. I have to give them a bath and prepare them. I paint their hooves, cut their hair, give them a trim and fluff their hair so they look good."
Erika said her younger sisters Haylie, 6 and Macie, 4 show their goats at livestock shows also.
The Southeastern Utah Junior Livestock show is held each year in Ferron in July.
This article is a spotlight from one of the exhibitors. The show involves many participants from Emery County.
You can show your animal until you are 18 years old and the preparation work for the event lasts all year long.