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Angus honors —

By Staff | Nov 5, 2009

Nicholas Collison, of Lake City, has won numerous awards with his Angus heifer Forever Lady M801, including Grand Champion Heifer at the Iowa State Fair and grand champion owned female at the 2009 Central Regional Show in Springfield, Mo.

LAKE CITY – She may be a high-maintenance heifer, but Forever Lady M801 has proven she’s got what it takes to win in the show ring. From the 2009 Iowa State Fair to the Central Regional Show in Springfield, Mo., grand champion honors keep coming for this spirited Angus, owned by Nicholas Collison of Lake City.

“She’s really smart and can get off her halter, so I work with her every day and practice setting her up before we ever go in the show ring,” said Collison, 15, a freshman at Southern Cal High School in Lake City.

Collison’s father, Vince, said that he could see early on the tremendous potential of this heifer, who was born in January 2008 on the Moffitt Angus Farm near Colfax.

Ironically, the Collisons could have missed the opportunity to purchase Forever Lady M801, due to an ear tag escapade. At a very young age, the heifer ripped her tag out, creating her distinctive split ear. It deterred one potential buyer, allowing the Collisons to purchase the feisty heifer in September 2008.

“It was her phenotype and profile that caught my attention, because she holds her head up nicely and has a flashy style,” said Vince Collison, a veterinarian who runs a cattle embryo transfer business west of Rockwell City with his wife, Jane, and younger brother, Tim.

Nicholas Collison, his father Vince Collison, and the banners from the many awards received at shows this year.

In fact, the Collisons’ embryo transfer work with Moffitt Angus Farm helped create Forever Lady M801. “She may be a diva, but when she’s in the ring, she gets her act together and likes to show off,” Nicholas Collison said

The awards keep coming

In 2009, Forever Lady M801 has proven she can beat the competition. In shows across the nation, she has won:

  • Grand champion at the Iowa Beef Expo in Des Moines.
  • Grand champion at ISU AGR and ISU Block and Bridle competitions at the Cyclone Classic in Fort Dodge.
  • Grand champion at the Iowa Angus Preview and Iowa Angus Open Summer Show in Eldora.
  • Grand champion owned female at the 2009 Central Regional Show in Springfield, Mo.
  • Grand champion heifer at the Iowa State Fair.
  • Division champion at the National Junior Angus Show in Perry, Ga.

The 20-hour drive to Georgia in July was worth the trip, said Nicholas Collison, who won a banner and belt buckle at the National Junior Angus Show. Craig Moffitt, a third-generation cattle producer with Moffitt Angus Farm, near Colfax, said he appreciated the opportunity to come along. “It has been a rewarding experience to watch the growth of the animal and Nicholas’s growth as a showman.”

Looking ahead

Nicholas Collison has a lot to look forward to, from the American Royal in October to the birth of Forever Lady M801’s first calf, which is due in April 2010. That will allow Collison, a Southern Cal FFA member and Jackson Pioneers 4-H Club member, to show the calf in the bred-and-owned class at upcoming Angus shows. He’ll also be able to show Forever Lady M801 in the cow-calf pair division.

“Winning has been a team effort with the help of a lot of talented people, and it’s fun being in the top categories for heifers,” said Nicholas Collison, who helps with his parents’ cattle business and is thinking about studying veterinary medicine in college.

While the show circuit requires an investment of time, money and travel, it’s worth it, Vince Collison said. “Some families like to golf or ski, but we like to show cattle.”

Contact Darcy Maulsby by e-mail at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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