A Chestermere High School graduate showed his dedication to hard work by winning the Calgary Stamped International Youth Livestock Scholarship for the second year in a row.
Tyler McMurray, winner of the Summer Synergy competition held in Olds Alta., had to prepare his cattle for showing a year prior to the competition.
The Summer Synergy competition had a verity of different components incorporated into the program which students had to complete.
Including, conformation with animals, livestock judging, showmanship, grooming, and finishing a marketing project for a service that the competitors had to sell.
McMurray held an online auction to sell a one-on-one clinic where he would teach someone how to clip and groom cattle, he also sold five straws of seamen for breeding.
“Other than the preparation for the calves, it was just getting your marketing project done right, and studying the livestock judging criteria,” he said.
McMurray also had to complete an interview with Calgary Stampede board members, and high executives.
“I always enjoy the interview and talking to some important and well knowledgeable people,” he said.
McMurray ended the competition with being in the top 20 for judging, the top five for showmanship, and the third overall in grooming.
McMurray had been showing cattle since he was nine years old, and after competing in the Summer Synergies program, and getting to learn more about the agriculture business, he realized he wanted to continue farming.
“I really enjoy showing cattle. I’ll definitely be doing that moving forward, eventually I would like to have my own herd of pure bred cattle,” McMurray said.
However, before McMurray can own his own herd of pure bred cattle he has to attend post-secondary and begin earning a steady income.
“I’m going to go to school and get my welding ticket and that’s how I’ll get my start out and eventually get my own herd,” he said.
“This scholarship will definitely help me with my start up. I got one last year too, it will help me move forward,” McMurray said.
“It was just pretty serial, that I could do it two years in a row.
“I’m really happy. It’s an honour to get to be a part of that group of youth that want it. There’s some pretty big names, and to be part of it was pretty awesome,” McMurray said.
“I learnt that for the judging you need confidence, you need to go in there thinking you’re going to do well. The fact that I had won it last year gave me more confidence going into it this year,” he added.
However, winning the Calgary Stampede International Youth Livestock Scholarship for the second year didn’t come without some sacrifices.
“It’s a long process, I get up feed the cattle, when it’s hot I have to keep their hair nice, since I don’t have a cool room, I have to wash them three times a day, keep them cool, and keep their hair conditioned well.
“At night after we feed them we like to take them for about a 15-minute walk to keep them moving.
“That’s every day for me, washing three times a day, feeding two times a day, and a lot of exercise,” McMurray said.
“I enjoy it all, the worst part would be the long days getting ready but even then, I enjoy it. So really, it’s just a privilege to be able to do this kind of stuff,” he said.
Although McMurray has had to put a lot of time into keeping his cattle looking good it was worth it to have the opportunity to go from Olds Alta., to the Calgary Stampede.
“We got to walk across the grand stand stage to accept the award during the chuck wagons and had a big presentation,” McMurray added, “Going to Calgary was definitely a high light.