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Nov. 28, 2012
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
A Charolais bull born and raised on the R.T. Wright Farm at Northwest Missouri State University won Reserve Grand Champion at the American Royal Livestock Show Nov. 4 in Kansas City, Mo.
Northwest’s Department of Agricultural Sciences exhibited the bull along with a second bull, which won third place. The department also showed three heifers that placed second, third and fifth in their classes.
The Charolais bull won grand champion as a calf at last year’s American Royal Livestock Show. It was prepared and shown by students and fed by University Beef Technician Sam Rucker, who said it is extremely rare for an animal to place competitively as a calf and again after it has grown.
“A lot of times, they don’t have the same look after they grow up, but he’s been good since the day he was born,” Rucker said. “Animals like him don’t come along every day or every year. He’s a pretty high-quality bull.”
Three students prepared and presented the bull for the livestock show. One of them, Rachel Zumbrunnen, a junior agriculture business major from Brookfield, said showing livestock competitively is more of a lifestyle than a hobby.
“We went out and worked with them a few days a week every week, washing them and breaking their hair so they were ready for the show,” Zumbrunnen said. “You have to train the hair to go a certain way so it looks good on show day.”
Winning reserve grand champion at one of the four largest annual shows in the nation helps validate the quality work of the University’s agriculture department and farm. The win also shows prospective students they can contribute to something highly successful at Northwest.
“To win something like that really puts our name out there and helps gain the respect of these other ranches that are there competing,” Rucker said.
Northwest’s Department of Agriculture offers seven academic majors and provides students with hands-on experience at its 448-acre R.T. Wright Farm north of campus, the Horticulture Complex, a composting facility and on the campus grounds as the Missouri State Arboretum.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468