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Smith, Ortner enjoy catch-a-calf experience at Stock Show PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Janna Smith and Nicholas Ortner, both of Holyoke, recently wrapped up their Catch-a-Calf experience at the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

The duo were lucky enough to catch a calf at last year’s Stock Show and have spent the last year working with their steers and learning new things. The project came to an end Jan. 7-8 as they were busy in Denver showing their steers, getting interviewed and turning in their record books.

Smith received reserve grand champion in the Catch-a-Calf, with her steer at this year’s Stock Show. Ortner placed in the top five, according to his family. The Phillips County representatives placed very well as there were 40 others in the competition.

Janna Smith, at left, is pictured with her steer and a representative of
Vita Ferm at the National Western Stock Show.

In senior showmanship, Smith was named champion. She placed second in live placing and production, third in sponsor relations, fourth in record book and sixth in interview.

Overall placing is determined by these individual areas.

Ortner placed first in live placing and sponsor relations, fourth in production and record book, seventh in showmanship and eighth in interview.

Nicholas Ortner, second from right, is pictured with sponsors Pat and
Kathy Shaw and his steer at the National Western Stock Show in
Denver. A representative from Vita Ferm is pictured at right.

After catching their calves last year, they have spent the year communicating with sponsors, keeping a record book, caring for their steer and preparing for the stock show.

Both Smith and Ortner found the Catch-a-Calf program gave them a great opportunity to form new relationships and learn a lot.

Smith also showed goats at this year’s Stock Show. Two of her goats placed ninth while another placed third. Even though this year is done, Smith plans to show a calf and goats at the Phillips County and State fairs.

Ortner showed hogs Jan. 17-18 in addition to participating in Catch-a-Calf.

Ortner’s mom said Monday the entire experience was wonderful. She noted Nicholas has formed a life long friendship with his sponsors and highly encourages others to get involved with the program should they get the chance.

Smith, a freshman animal science major at NJC, is the daughter of John and Denise Smith of Holyoke. Ortner, an HHS freshman, is the son of Tim and Mariane Ortner of Holyoke.

Both urge fellow 4-H members to think about getting involved with the Catch-a-Calf program. Smith noted the atmosphere was great. She and Ortner knew most everyone they were working and competing with and noted “everybody helped everybody.” She said there was a lot of teamwork involved.

The duo noted a lot of hard work goes into the Catch-a-Calf project put it truly pays out in the end.

Holyoke Enterprise January 26, 2012