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N.I.L.E. Success | When Raising Cattle is Second Nature

Blog by Kimberly Lowry, Fay Ranches Broker, Montana

A big congratulations is extended to Isabelle Lowry, daughter of Fay Ranches real estate Broker Kimberly Lowry, for achieving success at the Northern International Livestock Exposition “N.I.L.E.”  with her Merit Heifer from Currant Creek Angus Ranch and earning honors including Reserve Champion NILE Merit Heifer, Grand Champion NILE Merit Heifer Showman, and the coveted Grand Champion and Top Herdsman award for the NILE Merit Heifer program. Fay Ranches sponsored Lowry and her NILE Merit Heifer project for the show held last week.

The NILE Merit Heifer program is unique to the Northern International Livestock Exposition or N.I.L.E. where young agricultural producers apply for and receive heifers from donor ranches based upon merit.  An applicant must complete an application including an essay to describe their goals if awarded a heifer through the program, provide three references, plus three written recommendations and also produce a video as well to present to the selection committee for consideration.

When individuals are selected as recipients they begin the year-long project by scheduling a time to meet with their donor ranch to select a heifer to take home to work with throughout the year.  The young producers work to halter break, feed, prepare to breed and exhibit their heifer working toward completing the project by exhibiting their bred heifer at the NILE the following October.  Throughout the year recipients participate in monthly conference calls to learn about nutrition, A.I. artificial insemination and breeding protocol, and more.  Plus, each month the young recipients complete a monthly report including a record of their feed and care to log their progress with their project and any challenges they may have encountered.  The project is completed when all NILE Merit Heifer recipients bring their bred heifers back to show them in the NILE Merit Heifer Show during the NILE in October the following year. Upon completion of the successful project, the recipient receives official ownership of the heifer to work to build their own cow herd.

For Lowry who was born and raised on a ranch, raising cattle is second nature.  Starting at a young age helping to care for the cattle raised by her family she began showing competing in both jackpot shows and 4H fair.  Enjoying the exhibition she set bigger and bigger goals including showing at a National level at the N.I.L.E. Northern International Livestock Exposition, Arizona Nationals Livestock Show, and National Western Stock Show.  Developing a passion for livestock at a young age, Lowry aspires to build her own cow herd to raise high-quality cattle that can serve as both productive members of her cowherd and also produce competitive show prospects as well.

  • Merit Heifer Northern International Livestock Exposition

While working to select her heifer from Currant Creek Angus and Gary and Phyllis Eliasson, Lowry looked for a heifer that was sound traveling, deep ribbed and feminine and could also be competitive throughout her merit heifer project and that would allow her to build a successful breeding program for years to come.  Lowry was thrilled to learn that the heifer she selected was a granddaughter out of the highly productive Angus bull OCC Emblazon.  Of the program, Lowry said “Receiving a heifer from Currant Creek Angus was very exciting and having this heifer to build my own registered herd from is a huge honor.  I am so grateful for the NILE Merit Heifer program and my donors Gary and Phyllis Eliasson for the gift of a beautiful registered Angus heifer!”

If interested in learning more about the recipients, the ranches who have served as generous donors of heifers with this program or to become a donor for this extraordinary program check out the NILE website!

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