Chyanne Fogg wants to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather

University of Arkansas senior Chyanne Fogg of Springdale, Ark., was put on a horse before she could walk.

She bottle-fed a little Brahman/Holstein cross calf that is now one of 10 mommas in her small herd. Chyanne was only a little older by the time she went with her pawpaw James Skelton to a vet where she watched her first calf being pulled. She was interested rather than “grossed out” so that when she helped pull her first calf at less than 6 years old she wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty.

A third generation barrel racer, Chyanne began at 7 on a mare named Texas who had a career ending injury. After talking to doctors across the country, the family finally settled on what she called “an old voodoo doctor” who used a nontraditional method and solved the problem so well that she was able to ride the mare through all of her high school rodeo competitions in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying. That mare is now part of a string of seven and pregnant, a string Chyanne plans to develop into competitive breeding stock.

Her dad Scott and stepmother Libby, and mother Mikki all played a part, but her grandfather was the center of her agricultural experiences and her best mentor. She began her high school career by showing market lambs as a freshman.

“Sheep don’t seem to have much personality, and I didn’t bond well with them. Besides, I knew, loved and understood cattle and horses so that’s where I focused my energies,” Chyanne said.

A member of FFA, Cheyenne was on the horse judging team as a freshman and sophomore. The team won state and went to nationals where she placed seventh-high individual. During her junior and senior year, she competed in halter and performance classes and served as sentinel for her FFA chapter. During her senior year she and her grandfather, a well respected and active member of the Beefmaster Association, selected a registered heifer that is also part of her cowherd.

“Jazzy wasn’t the flashiest, but won reserve grand champion in breed at the Arkansas/Oklahoma State Fair. She had great confirmation which, combined with her showing record, will help sell my breeding stock,” Chyanne explained.

Chyanne’s decision to pursue an agricultural career is predictable and logical considering her experiences with both cattle and horses, her grandfather’s record-setting Beefmaster herd and a new competitive horse breeding operation started by her folks.

Chyanne started her education at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, Okla. The most important observation she took from her education and watching her grandfather’s herd was that whether an animal was for breeding or market, structural soundness was the most critical element in producing profitable animals. Her education at Arkansas only deepened her belief, so much so that she is now considering becoming an emberyologist.

“Controlled selection of male/female pairs using AI or ET ensures calves receive maximum mothering while using genetics for continually perfecting productivity. I can see further refinement through AI and ET overall but especially for ribeye size and intramuscular fat as well as optimum weaning and yearling weights. If calves are not growing, they are not making money,” Chyanne said.

To reach her goal, Chyanne will need a master’s program in animal reproduction, plus AI school after graduating from the U of A with an animal science degree emphasizing reproduction. Chyanne would eventually like to open her own business performing AI and ET on horses and cattle.

Chyanne served as a paid fair judge for the first time this year. Her experience on the judging team at Eastern taught her all the different species and what to look for. In addition, being around animals all her life seemed to develop her ability to discriminate good and bad qualities regardless of species. This year, her senior year at U of A, she will be on the judging team and traveling all over the country.

Chyanne has a deep-seated belief in combining and individual herd with work for a cattle association, a belief founded in observing her grandfather. James Skelton was the first Beefmaster breeder to track his cattle’s performance through the feedlot process in order to determine which genetics produce the most successful market animals. The data proved that Beefmasters grade out just as well as the European breeds like Angus.

“I hope to be a pioneer just like Pawpaw. I want to work within and for the cattle community hopefully for the benefit all of us,” Chyanne said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here