August 28, 2007
RAPID CITY, SD – For Amanda Kammerer, showing livestock has encompassed nearly half her life. And the 14-year-old doesn’t show any signs of slowing down soon.
Kammerer began showing cattle when she was eight years old at the local county fair and Central States Fair. She quickly expanded into showing at the Western Junior Livestock Show and more recently, the Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) in Billings, MT.
“I think it was about three years ago we started going to the NILE,” said Kammerer. “We do good some places, other places we do OK.” She lists “quite a few” championship ribbons from her years in showing livestock.
Amanda is the daughter of Matt and April Kammerer, who operate Kammerer Livestock north of Rapid City. Amanda is the oldest of four children which include sister Jessica, 11, and brothers Jake, 8, and Dillon, 3. Both Jessica and Jake are also involved in showing livestock. The family raises registered Angus cattle along with sheep. Amanda has shown both types of livestock in competition.
Amanda says she started showing livestock through 4-H, but has since expanded into showing in open classes as well. She enjoys a lot of things exhibiting livestock has to offer.
“I like meeting new people,” says Amanda, “going to the different places and just having fun.”
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With cattle, she shows heifers, bulls and steers. She says she enjoys showing heifers the most. “The bulls are pretty good also,” says Amanda. “They just don’t set up as well as the heifers do.”
Amanda managed to do very well with a bull last year, winning Grand Champion Bred & Owned Bull in the Jr. Angus Show at the NILE. But showing livestock isn’t all fun and accolades, there is plenty of work and responsibility involved as well – especially in the beginning preparations with an animal.
“There are a lot of hours of feeding, grooming and work involved,” says Amanda’s father Matt. “The kids do a good job of doing the work. They put a lot of time in it.”
To get livestock used to a halter and being led, Matt said they begin that process in the evenings before feeding cattle. “Every night they lead them out of the barn to the feed bunk,” he says. “Instead of fighting them around the pen, they follow along a lot better to the bunk. Before long, they can be led fairly easily.”
At this year’s Central States Fair, the Kammerer family brought eight head total and Amanda showed five – three heifers, a steer and a bull.
“I got two first places with a heifer and the steer,” said Amanda. “One heifer got second and the other heifer got fifth. The bull got last.”
She added there was a lot of good competition at this year’s fair. Ron Jeffries, general manager of the Central States Fair, agreed.
“We’ve got a real good run at the fair this year,” said Jeffries. “The crowds have been excellent. We had a real good Angus show. The youth program with both sheep and cattle had real good shows as well.”
Amanda looks to add to that competition for the next several years. She begins her freshman year at Rapid City Central this fall and said she plans to show livestock at least through high school, and possibly further.