A BREED APART
Distinct choices and creative style help local teen stand out.
WRITTEN BY BARBARA TWITCHELL
PHOTO BY CANDICE NYANDO
It’s obvious that Bailey Kelton doesn’t mind being different. In fact, she embraces it.
For example, it’s easy to locate the Yerington teen at any local livestock show. She’s the only one with Hereford cows — those large red bovines with their trademark white faces —– amid the vast sea of Black Angus cattle preferred by her peers.
That’s right. She is the only youth in Nevada who shows Herefords. Not only that, but she is the only youth in Nevada who shows cattle, of any breed, beyond the few local events sponsored by 4-H or Future Farmers of America. To compete, Kelton regularly takes her cattle to California competitions and various regional or national shows, where she’s always the only Nevada competitor.
Making her mark
This self-described “country kid” who has been showing cattle since age six has collected her fair share of ribbons over the years, including Reserve Champion in several large and prestigious competitions.
Kelton says she uses the knowledge and feedback garnered while participating in these shows to help improve the stock on her family’s cattle ranch. The experience also is paving the way for her future. The Yerington High School senior plans to study animal nutrition at the University of Nevada, Reno next year.
Beefing it up
Kelton saw her exceptional efforts rewarded last spring when she was named the Nevada State Beef Ambassador in a contest sponsored by the Nevada Cattlewomen and the Nevada Beef Council. It’s a role she takes seriously, finding every opportunity she can to promote beef consumption by educating consumers about beef’s excellent nutritional qualities and the good stewardship practices of the beef-ranching community.
Of course, Kelton doesn’t do anything in an ordinary way. Even in her promotional efforts, her creativity knows no bounds. Take her booth at the Nevada State Fair last summer, where she handed out free beef jerky and enticed people to learn about beef by offering a chance to win $200 worth of free beef to anyone who scored 100 percent on her quiz. People listened and learned. Smart girl!
And who could forget the day last summer when she brought two cows and two calves to an Aces baseball game in Reno? That certainly attracted a crowd of eager and curious folks willing to listen to this dedicated beef advocate.
Her only regret? That she and her cows weren’t given the chance to throw out the first pitch.
“I think they were afraid of a cow pie mishap on the infield,” Kelton adds with an impish smile.
Freelance writer Barbara Twitchell learned more than she imagined possible about the labors of preparing cattle for a show. Bovine hairstyles, shampoos, perfumes, hairspray? Even for the bulls! Who knew?
Mark your calendar
Nevada Junior Livestock Show
May 11 – 15
Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center
1350 N. Wells Ave., Reno
For details, visit http://www.Agri.nv.gov/administration/njlsb