For seven years Cody Lafrentz has had a routine every day that included taking care of steers so that he could take them to shows, which included the Calgary Stampede.
And while his future no doubt has livestock and cattle in it, this past Junior Steer Classic was the last time he will show a steer at the event.
He made the most it taking home the title of Grand Champion of the show.
Lafrentz called the experience of winning and concluding his journey with this program overwhelming.
The resident of Bienfait, Saskatchewan will enter into his final year at Kansas State University where he studies Animal Science with a business option this year.
Lafrentz says he has grown in a number of ways since he started.
“This program has really helped me build myself, just really having very high qualified judges that have mentored me in my life, said Lafrentz.
“Watching other people get their cattle ready has really help me become the person that I am today in the livestock industry.”
He is hopeful other juniors and others considering taking part in the program take note of how much they can gain from it if they stick with it.
“Just in terms of your work at home is huge, how much time you put into it.”
He adds you are not going to be successful every time, but if you keep coming back and don’t give up you will learn a lot and gain something valuable that will take you far in life
“It is something you can build up in terms of just your work ethic and being professional and being an all around good person.”
The judge of this year’s Junior Steer Classic, Lance Leachman says seeing people like Lafrentz coming out of the program lends a lot credibility to the future success of this industry and talent that is continuing to develop.
“You take away the amount of enthusiasm, dedication, passion and the work ethic that these youngsters have for not only for their animals but the industry in general,” said Leachman.
“I think that is the most satisfying part just to see the passion and motivation these kids have put in so much work and so much effort at so much expense to do something that they love and enjoy.”
Leachman, who calls Maidstone, Saskatchewan home, says the Calgary Stampede does a lot for the competitors who range in age from nine to 21.
“They do a really great job of maintaining a positive, a really appropriate and accurate representation of what our industry can provide society in general.”
For Lafrentz, he says once university is done he will be looking at the doors that have opened for him in part because of this program.