Monday, June 11, 2007

Margie,

My name is Amanda Nolz. I live on a purebred Limousin cattle operation with my family. Together we work each day to raise quality seed stock, market steers for meat consumption, and raise functional heifers for replacements in our herd. We are very proud of our agricultural roots, and one of the biggest rewards for my family and I is being able to showcase our best cattle at fairs across the country.

Since I was a little girl, my dad and I have had a ritual of taking pasture tours after chores—scoping out the ideal show heifers for me to work with when they are older. Quickly after weaning time, we select our show stock and get them in the barn to prepare them for their debut into the show ring. Every morning, my sisters and I wake up early to get the heifers fed, washed, combed, nurtured, and tied up on a nice bed of wood chips in front of cooling fans. The heifers soon become our friends, and we look forward to the many hours spent with the calves to ensure that we are competitive at competitions.

The lessons we learn from showing our own seed stock are invaluable to what we become as adults. Through living on a farm and showing cattle, I have learned the importance of responsibility, respect, trustworthiness, caring, and a hard work ethic. I am proud of being able to take part in the circle of life. Since my years in 4-H, I have moved on to become the 2006 National Beef Ambassador and a summer intern with the USDA AMS Livestock and Seed Program in Washington D.C. I have decided to dedicate my life to agriculture because it is my passion. This passion stemmed directly from my days as a little girl, befriending my show cattle.

Please reconsider eliminating livestock from your fair. It is a time honored tradition that exposes people to the wonderful world of agriculture—something that is very near and dear to my heart.

Putting agriculture first,

Amanda Nolz

www.chewingthecud.org

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