Finding Your True Gifts

By Mikayla Askey, NALJA director

What is a gift? A gift could be something that you give someone, like a birthday or Christmas gift. It could be a natural talent or ability that you possess, such as playing a musical instrument or showing cattle. Or a gift could also be something you cherish, such as the gift of friendship.

How do you define the gifts in your life? What would you consider the best gift you have ever received?

Gifts are unique and hold a special meaning for each of us. The best gifts in life are not always store bought. Gifts may not be easily gained but instead may take hard work and determination, which makes the gift even better.  

As I reflect on my life, I know that I have been blessed with many gifts. These include supportive family and friends, the ability to raise and show livestock, my ability to play violin and the opportunities I’ve been given to be in FFA, a member of the NRS Show Team and NALJA Board.

As I get older it is becoming clearer that we shouldn’t take the gifts we are given for granted. Time passes quickly and it is important to give thanks daily for your blessings.

NALJA members as a whole benefit greatly from the gifts we receive from the donors and sponsors who believe in us. This is evident in those who have provided donations throughout the year and most recently for the CornerPost Fundraiser and Genetics on Ice auction held during Cattleman’s Congress. Please be sure to thank all our supporters and recognize them for their ongoing gifts.

Take time each and every day to reflect on the gifts you have been blessed with in your life.

“Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.” – James 1:17

Focus on the Here and Now

By Riley Smith, NALJA Secretary

More times than I can keep track of, I have been caught asking myself, “Does what I am currently doing even have any meaning towards where I want to be in the future?” If you know me, you know I have a mental plan to go back home and continue to grow our family farm after I finish college. I want to start my own cowherd, start renting and farming some of my own land, make my own hay, and live at my own place. I know I have a long way to go before I arrive at that destination, because there is so much more I need to learn. But some days when I sit inside the classroom, I lose track of what the professor is talking about and get this feeling of, “I could do something more relevant right now.”

Naturally, as a 20-year-old male, I feel like I already have enough knowledge to be successful on my own, and I find myself wanting to go home to start doing my own thing. But when I really think about it, the many valuable lessons I learned growing up continue to help me every day, and I know there’s much more I have yet to learn.

My high school teachers taught me the importance of diversified learning, at football practice I learned that being strong and being smart are two totally different things, but they can both come in handy, and my dad taught me how working slowly can end up being faster in the end. As young adults I think we get caught up in what we want to have in ten years, rather than focusing on where we are now and what we need to do to get there.

Looking back, without taking the initiative to attend college eight hours from home, I would have missed out on things like traveling across the country on a livestock judging team, getting to know the president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and living and working on a university farm. I challenge you to sit back with a positive mindset and think of how the small things you’ve completed in the past have helped you attain the big things you now possess. Keep an end goal in mind and put your nose down and work on the things you need to do to get there! 

“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” Psalm 128: 1-2

Simis to Limis: Paige Peine’s Success Saga

A longtime herdsman of Simmental cattle Paige Peine already had quite the repertoire in the cattle industry. So, what would make a lifetime Simmental producer jump the fence? High quality Limousin cattle.

When the opportunity to purchase a quality Limousin heifer from Chris Herman arose Paige and her family decided to dive in and try their hand at a new breed.

“We’ve been going to a lot of shows. She’s ranked second overall heifer in the North Star point series in Minnesota,” says Paige.

With a packed schedule of shows Paige and her Limousin heifer are getting noticed, inside and outside the ring. From multiple champion banners to their second place ranking Paige and her heifer are proving forces to be reckoned with.

Coming from a Simmental background making the switch to a new breed was not always on the radar. But when Paige and her family saw the Limousin heifer raised by the Herman family they knew they had taken the chance.

“Their support is great; they were a little sad when we bought her, but I love how much they support me in the point series. They always come to cheer me on,” says Paige.

At 22 years old Paige has a lengthy resume in the show ring. With hands on a lead since she was eight Paige has been able to take advantage of many opportunities in the industry. A 2020 graduate of Iowa State University with an Animal Science degree she knew her career passion was in the cattle world. She has landed with Sullivan’s with a career in their show barn.

She says, “I am excited to expand my knowledge and make new connections.”

Of all the show ring moments to be proud of Paige reminisces that her favorite accomplishment has to be how many times her Limousin heifer has been in the top 5 overall. Being a consistent winner can prove difficult sometimes, but the continued success of this Limousin heifer has prompted a look to the future.

Paige will continue her involvement with the Limousin breed by starting her own Lim-Flex herd out of this heifer. The success she has seen in the show ring is the product of outstanding genetics that will lead to an outstanding herd in the future.

Being successful outside of the show ring can be attributed to Paige’s hard work in the industry. Positive habits of high achievers are habits that are often learned from an early age with show stock exhibitors. Through all of her success Paige has continued to expand her knowledge and continue growing as a person, exhibitor, and employee.

“If there is an opportunity that comes to you, take it. Get out and meet new people,” says Paige.

Solid advice coming from the experience she has gained by opening doors with the Limousin breed. Paige’s parents, Mike and Lori Peine proudly travel to watch on as their daughter works side by side with her brothers, Briggs and Beau, sister-in-law Jill, and niece Lauren to make the success a family affair. While there is one person in the show ring, the real work is done with a team of dedicated supporters, which Paige emphasizes is a large contribution to her success.

As a motivated exhibitor for the breed Paige brings a bright face to advocacy of the future of Limousin in the industry.

Abigail Tipton: Junior Herdsman of the Year

Abigail (Abby) Tipton is the daughter of George & Kristi Tipton of Greenback, TN. She runs a small cow/calf operation of registered Limousin/Lim-Flex. Tipton’s passion for cattle started when she joined 4-H in 6th grade and started showing, learning feeds, and judging livestock that led her to judging her own and wanting more.

A year later Abby became a certified Al technician at the age of 13, not only to breed her own cattle, but for others as well. With each year Abby’s genetics were improving then she bought ETGC Candy Apple my JR year of high school with her winnings (eastern regional/ Nationals and NAILE) and wanted to flush and embryos.

Tipton had several good heifers in the past but continues to advance their phenotypes and genotypes each calving season. She has finally proven to herself that with dedication, hard work, and learning through all the years can pay off. The 2021 National Junior Limousin Show and Congress was Abby’s last year and she left with a legacy as she won supreme grand champion bred and owned with AlTN Angry Orchard ET, daughter of Candy Apple, and received the Dick O’Brien Junior Herdsman of the year Award.

Abby will continue her journey raising show heifers for future showmen. With her knowledge gained throughout the time she has been showing cattle as a junior member and 4-H, she has tried to pass what she was taught down to the younger generations and help anyone that needs it.

Stay Resilient

By Clayton Schowe, Ex-Officio

Hello all! Many of you are getting back into school routines and it seems like just yesterday I was still in high school. For now, schooling is not a part of my daily schedule. Thankfully for those in school, things are looking more “normal” at the start of this academic year than they may have this time last year. 

Now, instead of waking up and getting ready for classes, it is the calves needing to be fed, cows being checked, and a magnitude of other chores that fill my day. Life here in Maryland has been good to me so far. Things are extra busy this time of the year. Fall cows are starting to calve, sale calves are being weaned, broke, and prepped for the TASF annual Halloween Hunnies, and show cattle are getting back in their routine as our first fall major will be here in a month. No doubt, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss my time in Ames at school, however work has been a nice change of pace. While it is no longer assignments and exams, I have filling up my schedule, I still find myself being tested daily.

In the real-world people are tested daily. In agriculture in particular, many farmers and ranchers have been tested to the max this year. No, not all because of COVID, but instead a finicky Mother Nature throwing all types of weather at us. Drought, fire, wind, or rain, depending on where you’re located. It is inevitable that the weather has made you scratch your head in the morning and wonder, “Now what?” And once again the lessons and hardships we encounter and learn from prevail. Perseverance, determination, grit, and problem solving all come to mind. At the end of the day, it is the passion and love for what we do.  “So, God made a farmer,” am I right? Cody Jinks may say it best in his song, “It’s been a too long time with no peace of mind, I’m ready for the times to get better.” 

While it may be a challenge some days, all one can do is wake up and make the most of the hand they are dealt. If we collectively can all do just that, time will in theory, be better.

I’d be remiss if I did not at least reflect on the summer NALJA had. Myself, along with my fellow past, and present board of directors would first and foremost like to say, “Thank You!” Thank you to anyone who had a hand in making the American Showdown a tremendous event where memories were made to hopefully last lots of us a lifetime. Personally, I am thankful to be a part of a breed association that offers a true family-like atmosphere. We hope to continue with what we feel is an upward trend for our annual National Junior Limousin Show and Congress. No doubt the board works to make things the best we can!

As I transition into my new role of Ex-Officio, I am thankful to still be able to serve an association that has given so much to me as an individual. While I may no longer be a “junior,” my passion for this breed has not waivered. In a few weeks the rest of the board and I will convene for our annual fall board meeting in September. The NALJA board has already begun to line things out for the next year and start planning, with the hope of becoming even better.  Be on the lookout for our Credit for Kids fundraising sale. Remember to never veer from a challenge, when presented with a test, never back down and give it your all. Stay resilient and make the most of every day because, “Changes are comin’, no doubt.”

“Make each day your masterpiece.”

“Nothing will work unless you do.”

-John Wooden

Limousin Exhibitor Helps Families in Need

By Megan Clark, CAC Media Group

Being a part of the show cattle industry affords us the opportunity to work with some of the best in the business. Not only do they bring a wealth of knowledge about livestock to the table, but they are also some of the biggest hearted people around.

A big heart can certainly be used to describe Iowa 4-H member, Owen Powell, and his family. Powell is a member of the Blue Grass Jr. Farmers 4-H Club in Eastern Iowa and was selected to be a participant in this year’s Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair. The Governor’s Charity Steer Show is a long-standing tradition that raises money for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Iowa, an organization that provides housing and meals to families who children are receiving ongoing medical care.

At this year’s show, Powell and his Lim-Flex steer Chuck made history by raising a whopping $42,600 through donations from his family and community. After the show, Chuck was sold on the auction, which brought in an additional $5,000 and their total set a new record for the event.

Powell got started with this journey by sending a letter to planning co-chairs Tanner Lawton and Casey Andersen requesting to be considered as an exhibitor. After months of waiting, Powell was notified that he had been selected. His steer Chuck was purchased from a local Limousin breeder, Kraig Puck for market price, and initially wound up in the feedlot instead of the show barn. It was not until after he found out that he was selected that Powell decided he wanted to show Chuck instead of the steer he had been working with.

“I just wasn’t happy with the way my other steer was developing,” said Powell. “I thought Chuck would be better, so we took him out of the feedlot and started working with him every day.”

Along with the hours he was putting in the barn, Powell jumped right into fundraising. He started gaining local recognition for the project after he sent letters to businesses about his journey. What makes Powell’s story hit home is the fact that he was selected to represent the Volunteer Boards of the Iowa Ronald McDonald House Charities and his celebrities, Josh, and Kristi Rasmusson, had first-hand experience with the organization. They are some of the many people that have utilized the Ronald McDonald charity when their son was born prematurely and had to stay in the hospital for monitoring. The family has been working with the house board ever since.

Other support for Powell and Chuck came through donations of over 100 pounds of pop tabs and around 3,000 non-perishable items, which were taken to the Eastern Iowa house. This support came not only from the adult community but also from local 4-H members.

On the day of the show, Powell made it clear that he did not want a professional crew fitting on his steer, rather he wanted to keep it fun. To do this, he brought in some of his fellow 4-H members and cattle show competitors to help.

“We were the only group will all kids fitting on their steer,” said Powell. “And it was really neat because they got to follow me to the showring. I know it meant a lot to them and it meant a lot to me to have their help.”

Because of his efforts, Powell was considered a contender for the Community Hero Award, which is a new addition to the show this year and looks at both the amount of nonperishable and pop tab donations the exhibitor raised and also how many shares they received on social media.

Powell’s inspiring experience speaks to the generosity found in the livestock industry and to the caliber of kids you find in the show ring. It is truly amazing to see the impact an exhibitor and their calf can have.

If you are interested in learning more about his story or to donate, you can visit and select number nine for Owen and Chuck.  

Photo Captions (Top Left to Right): Powell received support from his family, especially his mom, Kim after loading his steer Chuck onto the trailer after the auction. “It was the hardest goodbye ever,” he said.

Chuck was on display at his county fair along with information about his participation in the Governor’s Charity Steer Show and the Ronald McDonald House. The Powell family sold t-shirts at the fair to continue to raise awareness about the show.

(Bottom Left to Right): Powell created bracelets to be worn in support of the project. These bracelets were made available along with t-shirts to anyone who sponsored. Over $42,600 was raised through business and private partnerships.

Getting Chuck ready for the show was a group of fellow 4-H members from Eastern Iowa. They were the only fitting team to be made up of almost entirely of exhibitors and Powell was excited to share this experience with his friends. Seated: Chad Claussen, Grady Claussen and Coryn Wilson. Standing: Owen Powell, Cody Powell, and Levi Powell. Not pictured: Grant Wilson and Sawyer Claussen.

Each year the steer show is broadcast live across the state of Iowa to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House charity. Exhibitors parade through the ring with a celebrity showman. After the cattle are judged in the ring, they are sold in a live auction. Leading the steer into the show ring is Powell’s celebrity, Josh Rasmusson.

Iowa 4-H member, Owen Powell and his Lim-Flex steer Chuck were selected as participants in the 2021 Governor’s Charity Steer Show at the Iowa State Fair. Each year 25 individuals from across the state are chosen to show their steers in a special Saturday night show to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House charity.

Show Season is Here

By Colton Barton, NALJA Director

For a lot of us in the industry, May is the busiest time of year. We’re wrapping up calving season, getting those spring calving cows bred back, doing ET work, or starting to get the show cattle back on their daily routine to prepare for this summer. I can tell you that all of these things are going on at once at our place, but busy is good and this is my favorite time of the year! There’s just something about watching a group of cows graze while you think about the best way to AI them for next year to make the best calves you can.

As we start to near the summertime, that means that shows are also approaching fast! Whether it’s your state show, regional show or junior nationals, I’m sure you’re getting your cattle back in the barn and working hard to get them hairy and looking right for this summer. The summers can get pretty steamy here in central Texas, so we do our best to make sure our JR national cattle stay cool and comfortable during the day, even if that means rinsing them twice a day.

Hopefully, we both have the same plans July 3-8, and have Grand Island, Nebraska set as our destination! I can personally say Junior Nationals is an extremely fun week every summer, and your junior board has brought in new ideas and planning to make this year’s NJLSC the best yet! At 6 weeks away, the 2021 National Junior Limousin Show & Congress will be here before we know it. Be sure to keep up the hard work with your show cattle, and we hope to see all of our Limousin family at The American Showdown!

Was Life Ever “Normal?”

By Riley Smith, NALJA Director

Hello again everybody! I know some of you may be reading this from the feed truck, the tractor, or maybe even chute side as we enter spring breeding season! This is always an exciting, yet stressful time of year for me. While I try to finish the school year out strong, a large majority of my time seems to be spent thinking about how a certain cow’s calf will look if bred to a particular sire. In a few short weeks, school will be out for summer, and many of us will begin gearing up for the summer shows. I can’t wait to see you all in Grand Island, NE for NJLSC. I know each of you will be bringing the heat in terms of quality cattle, and I can promise you the junior board will match that quality with great activities and comradery throughout the week.

During the beginning parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think we all had a chance to slow down. Honestly, I had kind of forgotten what a full schedule had looked like up until a couple of weeks ago. Events would be postponed or spread apart, and many were not available to attend in-person, so we all stayed home. But lately, life has been speeding back up. While I am so thankful for things opening back up, I feel like I spend half of my days needing to relearn how to use a calendar, and the other half trying to figure out how I am going to fit into the “going out” clothes that I stopped wearing over a year ago!

As time keeps passing by, I hear folks daily say, “Gosh! I can’t wait for life to just get back to normal already!” At the beginning parts of the pandemic I totally agreed, but as I have had some time to reflect and think back to pre-COVID-19, I really begin to wonder. Was life as we know it ever actually normal? I mean, think about it. Yesterday, the weaned calves found the hole in the fence, today a water line busted and the feed truck had a flat, and tomorrow who knows what could happen on the farm or ranch! To me, asking for normality is almost like asking for an easy way out. Instead I believe we should all persevere and work towards a better tomorrow, rather than long for an easier day that we may have had in the past. If we don’t focus on the road ahead, we may get caught looking in the rear view mirror and miss the S-curve that is right in front of us!

An all time favorite quote of mine is, “You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.” I think this is so relevant to the world we live in today. You can choose to surround yourself with positive or negative, hard-working or lazy, and faithful or unfaithful people. Just know that in the end, you will become what you surround yourself with! SO, be wise my friends.

Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of a fool will suffer harm.

Utilizing the Uncertainty

Written by: Lindsey Gulotta, Ex Officio

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and had the opportunity to spend some extra time with family members near and far, whether that be virtually or in person. Although this past year hasn’t been anything close to normal, I hope the holiday season brings you more appreciation than usual. For my family, we fortunately were able to celebrate Thanksgiving similarly to the way we have in years past, and hope to be able to do the same for Christmas.

One thing I realized during our Thanksgiving celebrations, is that we were more conversational, in the moment, and a little more kind. This could have been a coincidence, but I think it has a lot to do with the uncertainty of this year.

Uncertainty seems to be the word to describe 2020, but you can look at that word with hopelessness or as an opportunity to reach out of your comfort zone, put forth a little more effort, or even just have an extra appreciation for the small things. Of course, a few things have become inconvenient due to the circumstances, but we were never guaranteed convenience. This past year has shown me, and I’m sure many others, to not sweat the little things and to be appreciative of what we still do have. There are so many uncertainties that have made me want to try something new, or do a little extra, because we do not know what comes next.

I understand this year has been nothing short of a trial, but I challenge you to think about what you still have, and how you can use this time to become a better individual. This past year has brought about a lot of challenges, but it has also allowed us to take a step back and re-evaluate what is truly important in our lives. I wish nothing but the best for you and your families this holiday season, and hope you all stay healthy!

Changing Things Up

Written by: Shelby Hubbard, Secretary

Wow, what a relief it is to finally see some things getting back to normal. The fall majors are underway, and the competition certainly wasn’t lacking at American Royal, and I’m sure the quality will follow suit at NAILE and the inaugural Cattleman’s Congress. It is crazy to think that we are already planning and fundraising for 2021 Junior Nationals. Your NALJA board is working diligently to make this year the best one yet. We all know that a junior national is not possible without generous support from numerous people. There are a few opportunities that you can participate in!

With all of the new things we’ve experienced in 2020, the NALJA board wasn’t afraid of trying something different this year. The credit sale fundraiser is just that, and it is unique in being an opportunity for both juniors and breeders. Juniors have the opportunity to purchase a credit towards some of the best programs in the breed, and producers should see the positive in potentially attracting new customers. Contact any of the board members, or NALF staff with any questions.

We are changing things up with our Corner Post fundraiser as well. Whether you are a junior, Limousin breeder, or commercial producer, you can benefit from this fundraiser. You can purchase a raffle ticket for $250 and have the chance to win a Lim-Flex heifer, and with the female comes a year of free insurance and a flush. Think of the many sales you have gone to, where you have watched high quality cattle be sold for an expensive price. I have been involved in this breed and industry as a whole for a while, and I am sure I have never seen a heifer sold or bought one for just $250. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to grow your herd, and support Limousin juniors at the same time! See any NALJA Board member to purchase a ticket!

See you all down the road!