Showing cattle is her sport
By KRISS NELSON
FORT DODGE – Jordan Johnson has dedicated the majority of her 16 years to showing cattle.
Johnson, the daughter of Brian and Lacy Johnson, said she has been showing cattle since the age of 4 in pee-wee shows, and then in larger competitions at open shows around 8 years old.
She started in 4-H when she was 10 years old.
She is also involved in several clubs, including DECA at Southeast Valley High school; the Dayton Tigers 4-H club; the Iowa Junior Beef Breeds Association – which she serves on the board – and is an American Angus Association member on both the state and national level, active in their National Junior Angus Association.
Additionally, Johnson is an Iowa Angus princess and Webster County Beef princess this year. Serving as one of the Iowa Angus princesses, Johnson said she assists in the showing by presenting ribbons and awards, and attends other events as well.
Duties as Webster County Beef princess will be similar, she said, attending events and helping to promote the beef industry on a local level.
NJAA allows for Johnson to compete showing her cattle within the state and out of state at the national level.
She said she is especially looking forward to the annual NJAA show coming up this summer, which will be held in Iowa.
“It’s a huge event,” she said. “It’s the biggest single beef breed event in the nation.”
Through the NJAA, Johnson has been participating in the association’s recognition program, where she recently earned bronze and silver awards by earning points through several contests and showing competitions within the program.
According to information provided by the American Angus Association, the bronze and silver awards are the first two levels of the NJAA’s recognition program, which began in 1972. Junior Angus breeders must apply for the awards, and then meet point requirements in many areas of participation in showmanship, contests and shows. They must use performance testing to improve their herd and their progress in producing and merchandising Angus cattle.
Johnson said she has been earning points the last six years through her involvement within the NJAA, competing in several contests outside of the show ring including extemporaneous speaking, record keeping, judging, cooking, photography, quiz bowl and team sales.
She has also been a part of the mentoring program offered through the NJAA.
With the NJAA show in Iowa this year, Johnson said she will be more involved with working at the show and assisting where needed.
Johnson’s involvement with the Iowa Junior Beef Breeds Association includes serving on the junior board.
“The board helps plan and organize the Iowa Beef Expo,” she said. “We help with events, checking in and working the event.”
Being involved with the IJBBA also takes Johnson to several jackpot shows throughout the year. At the end of the showing season they will also help organize the association’s annual award show.
Through the IJBBA, NJAA and other shows, Johnson said she and her family traveled to 45 shows last year.
“This is my sport,” said Johnson. “I have experiences most kids don’t get to have and my team is my family.”
The Johnson family’s business, Johnson Corner Cattle, is made up of a 90 head breeding Angus stock.
Having the business, Johnson said, provides her with an opportunity to compete with her own farm-raised heifers.
Currently, Jordan Johnson is working on showing Lilly, a heifer that the teen has raised on the family farm. Lilly happens to be the daughter of Lola, the first heifer Johnson showed when her career really began began taking off.
“Lola was my first heifer I had when I really became active in showing, around five years ago” Johnson said.
The Johnsons are hoping for the same results from Lilly, and so far, so good, according to Brian Johnson.
“Lilly was reserved champion at the same show Lola was. Same show, same result,” he said.
Jordan Johnson said if they are not actively showing, they are moving on to start making preparations for the next showing season.
She added she primarily shows Angus heifers and will take one, possibly two, to each show, and is very involved with her animals and her family’s operation.
Brian Johnson said his daughter has been a part of the selling process for their business, in addition to caring for her own animals.
Jordan Johnson said she is actively involved with her cattle daily by feeding them morning and night and will wash and tie them up nightly as well.
Lacy Johnson said they traveled to 11 states showing last year, which she said proves the commitment her daughter has given to her sport.
“She has had other experiences with activities in the past, but she chose this as what she wanted to do,” said Lacy Johnson. “She has a large friend network too.”
Jordan Johnson said she has gained more experience showing cattle.
“Showing cattle has given me a lot of different experiences. Experiences you won’t get with most other activities,” she said. “It’s been unbelievable and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
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