Imagine staring out over a 3,000-acre expanse littered with cattle on a warm summer's day, each of which you have raised with care. Every day, this is what Kathi Creamer sees.
Imagine staring out over a 3,000-acre expanse littered with cattle on a warm summer's day, each of which you have raised with care. Every day, this is what Kathi Creamer sees. She owns the Lazy JB Angus ranch (in Montrose) taking care of cattle and bulls. Kathi says that what she likes best is how relaxing it is to work with the cattle. She has been doing this for 48 years, and is a second-generation cattle breeder. She started when she was 9, and still does it today.
Work in preparation for the stock show is intense. She spends 10 hours in the barn a day, washing and grooming the cattle. She also trains them to be led and to get used to people. “We have young people come and visit them, and we also play the radio in the barn, stuff like that”, she says. Each cow or bull has their own special mix of food to keep them in prime condition. In preparation for the show, they also have small judging contests.
Grooming is very important and every day, starting two weeks before the stock show, the cattle get groomed and have their hair cut to show off their muscle and body shape. Even at the stock show they still get groomed daily.
She and the rest of the staff at the ranch do all that they can to not let the cattle get stressed out. A special tool she uses to relax them is called a show stick. A show stick is a long, thin pole with a small, blunt hook on the end. When the cattle are getting groomed, she gently rubs the hook between their front legs to keep them calm. “You can tell if they are calm just by looking at their ears and eyes”, she says. A lot of hard work goes into keeping the animals happy and calm.
“I truly love doing this”, Kathi says. “It’s more than the competitive part, it is the love I get from it”.