Not everyone that exhibits livestock at the National Western Stock Show comes with a traditional agriculture background. Today, I had the opportunity of meeting one those families, the May family from Davis, Massachusetts.
The May’s passion for the Highland cattle breed started just 13 years ago. Gerry, the father of the May family, worked tirelessly year after year to control the brush on their land at Cape Cod. After visiting with some friends and attending a local expo, the family decided to purchase three full-blood Highland heifers as a way to control their land with less labor.
Soon after the cattle were purchased, the family decided that they wanted to raise their children around agriculture. With the only experience the family had in agriculture being Laura, the mother of the May family, owning one horse while growing up, this was a new and exciting adventure for them.
Now, with their three children, the family travels to nearby states such as Maine, New York and Pennsylvania to compete with their purebred Highland cattle, along with their annual trip to the National Western Stock Show. The family takes on a three-day journey of over 2,000 miles to compete in the “world series of stock shows”, where they have attended for the last six-years.
When asking the kids why they enjoyed showing Highlands specifically, Jackie said, “Highlands are the most efficient of all the breeds in my opinion. Since they have so much hair, they are a lot easier to maintain and requires a lot less feed. Highlands are crossbred with a lot of different breeds because the hair they have has a lot of volume that comes naturally.”
The May family will be competing in the National Highland Show on January 25 at 8:00 a.m.
Guest Blogger: Emily Smith, National Western Marketing Intern