This month we shine our Sure Champ® Junior Spotlight on two young people who show a variety of species. They are well-rounded in the show ring and have a history of excelling at the American Royal, a short distance from the BioZyme® headquarters.
Let’s get to know 16-year-old Cara Cummins from Hollis, Oklahoma, and Wyatt Collard, 19, from Oronogo, Missouri. From pigs to cattle and goats, they are passionate about the industry in which they have been raised. They are willing to share their #formulas4success, as they prepare their livestock. It seems we tripped them up by asking their favorite show. However, Cara and Wyatt are two exhibitors we’ll be seeing and hearing from for years to come!
Tell us how you got your start in the show ring?
Cara: My parents both grew up showing livestock and as soon I could walk, I was put in the show ring.
Wyatt: My parents both grew up raising cattle in small towns in Southwest Missouri, showing livestock as they were young. My parents allowed junior members to show their heifers when my sister & I were still too young. My sister started showing pigs when she was young, but I quickly took over.
What species/breeds do you show?
Cara: I show pigs, goats and cattle.
Wyatt: I show steers and barrows; however, I’m always interested in trying new things. I would say I tend to show more crossbred than anything. I could say I’ve shown almost every breed in the barrows though, yes, even a Tamworth named Tom.
Which Sure Champ® and Vita Charge® products do you use?
Cara: My family and I use the Sure Champ® Cattle, Vita Charge® Stress Tubs, Vita Charge® Liquid Boost®, and Vita Charge® Climate Control Gel.
Wyatt: There aren’t many products we don’t use. On the cattle side, we consistently use Sure Champ (Cattle) pellets, Stress Tubs and Liquid Boost when preparing for a show and during. We probably use a few more products on our pig side including Vita Charge® HydraBoost™ through our medicators, Liquid Boost, Vita Charge® Gel, and Vita Charge® Clench when needed.
What are the biggest benefits you have seen using our products?
Cara: We use the Climate Control Gel to help us maintain the circulation to support my goats’ performance in heat-stress environments. We are firm believers that the Amaferm®– based products help maintain gut health in all of our livestock. It ensures that we are able to get the full genetic potential out of each animal. These products are tremendous tools that help us achieve the desired bloom and body needed to compete at the highest level.
Wyatt: The products help maintain overall health, hydration and nutrition for our show animals. Anyone that has fought an animal not wanting to eat and drink at a show knows how stressful livestock can be. Doing the little things from the beginning will help maintain their systems as we push to the final product in the end.
What is your favorite show and why?
Cara: This is a hard decision, but my favorite show would have to be the Oklahoma Youth Expo because it’s in my home state and the grand drive is simply unbeatable.
Wyatt: I would have to say my favorite show is any one of them I can attend as the days draw closer to the end of my junior career. I set different goals each year trying to accomplish those and check those off of my bucket list.
What are your plans for the future?
Cara: My future plans are to graduate high school and attend Oklahoma State University to get a degree in Ag Business.
Wyatt: My plan for the future is to continue focusing on my junior career as I end out my eligible years. I plan to continue to grow our cow herd and start building on it in the next couple of years focusing more on the club calf side. Raising and marketing show steers at a high quality to provide other junior members with the opportunities I have had along the way. Mentoring youth in the cattle and swine side to pass on opportunities like I have been given is something that I would love to be able to provide.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
Cara: My biggest role models would have to be my mom and dad. I could never choose one. My dad has always pushed me to achieve my goals and guides me to be the best version of myself. My mom is my biggest supporter and is with me in the goat barn every day.
Wyatt: I have to start out by thanking my family. Without their support, none of this would be possible. I have had some great mentors in the livestock industry that not only have given me many opportunities throughout my career but have taught me lessons in life lessons along the way. Four men in specific have taught me more about everyday swine/cattle livestock in general. Those are Brent “Boots” Boland, Jesse Heimer, Jacob Hudlow, and Blaine Rodgers. They continue to push me to be the best I can be as well as others around them, young and old. They all focus on youth in agriculture, and in general, and bettering the livestock industry mostly. While showing livestock they have taught me the biggest lesson is to never give up, keep pushing and work hard. We’ve had more tough losses than great wins, but in the end, they stand beside me with support and talk about how we can make the next better. Not sure there isn’t a day they don’t think about how to improve the livestock industry. Success doesn’t happen alone; I have to say our show family is pretty special for sure.
What is your favorite/greatest accomplishment?
Cara: My greatest accomplishment would most definitely have to be winning the 2022 American Royal Goat Show, while my brother, Cooper, exhibited the Reserve Grand Steer. It has always been a goal of mine to win alongside my brother, which made it so much more special!
Wyatt: My biggest/favorite accomplishment would be winning the American Royal Barrow show in 2020. COVID took a lot of opportunities away; however, the livestock industry prevailed and continued to provide for the youth in agriculture. With the American Royal being held in Missouri it was a huge accomplishment for a Missouri kid to win the big banner. I don’t believe many have had that privilege. My Calico barrow “Sites” was pretty special, to say the least. He came to us in a dog box, his tail hair was completely rubbed off, and he had a floppy ear. We knew he was special from day one but honestly didn’t think he would fit the judge and had planned to show him in Louisville less than a month later. Each day while in KC he continued to do everything he needed to do to make himself rememberable. The night before the show while we were exercising him, I remember us all looking at each other and saying WOW. The stars definitely aligned that day for a memory I will never forget.