Siblings Macy and Marshall Stauffer follow a trail blazed by their parents and grandparents
The livestock show arena is their basketball court, and their teammates have four legs. Macy and Marshall Stauffer were encouraged by their parents to pick one activity and give it 110 percent. The siblings chose agriculture over athletics and have not looked back. Macy (14) and Marshall (12) are proud fourth-generation Cedar County 4-H members from El Dorado Springs, Mo.
“It has been a learning experience, making those big decisions in life and trying to choose what to do,” Macy said.
Their parents, Matthew and Rachel Stauffer, grew up raising and showing livestock and have passed their passion and work ethic on to their children.
“My dad is my role model because he showed Belgian Blue bulls when he was in 4-H and FFA. So I thought, ‘why not give this a try,’” Marshall said.
Both hold leadership positions in Union Hall 4-H Club. Marshall is the assistant treasurer and Macy is vice president and Clover Kid leader. Macy hopes to serve as a junior 4-H project leader and a Missouri 4-H Regional Representative.
“One of my goals is to be a leader in agriculture and show people they can do anything if they put their mind to it,” Macy said.
They travel across Missouri showing Boer goats and cattle at jackpots shows, county fairs, the Ozark Empire Fair, the Missouri State Fair and the American Royal.
“My goal is to go to a different state and show at one of those big shows,” Marshall said.
Macy and Marshall do it all, from halter breaking calves, training goats, managing nutrition, heat-detecting cows and helping their parents AI their cattle. Macy is responsible for the herd records.
“My official job is the secretary. If I mess something up, everything messes up,” she said.
Macy started showing Boar goat wethers when she was 8 years old, and over the last few years added heifers and market steers to her show string.
“I love showing both. I can’t decide which is my favorite,” she exclaimed.
She owns three cows and two heifers, which are registered Shorthorns and Shorthorn-Club Calf cross. She recently purchased Annie and Tillie, yearling percentage Boer does, to show and breed. She hopes to sell the wethers to youth exhibitors and keep the replacement does to grow her herd.
“Sometimes it’s not about showing. What matters is the impact you make on people and the impressions you leave,” she said.
Marshall shows Boer goat wethers alongside his sister, but cattle are his favorite. Two years ago, he got the opportunity to show a Belgian Blue steer, like his dad used to show. He is in the process of halter breaking a heifer to show this year, with plans to breed her to build his herd.
One of Marshall’s most memorable moments happened right before his heifer won reserve champion crossbred at the Land O’ Lakes Youth Fair.
“I get my heifer in line and then I see the judge walk right up towards me and I think ‘Oh yeah, I am going to win,’ he exclaimed.
Macy and Marshall view their success in the show ring as the fruits of their labor at home in the barn. The siblings have proved to be exceptional showmen. Marshall has won grand champion youth showman at the Missouri State Fair (MSF). Macy has won grand champion youth and intermediate showman and stood third out of 27 exhibitors in the senior division at the MSF.
A moment Macy will never forget was winning reserve champion junior goat showman at the American Royal when she was 10 years old.
“I was proud. I came out of the ring and Dad and Mom were crying,” she exclaimed.
Macy encourages others not to get discouraged when they do not win or give up when they are having a bad day. Her advice is to push through the frustration, yelling, and tears. Where there is a will, there is a way; describes her attitude.
“I started with low-quality goats; you have to take those and work with them. A lot of people just give up because they don’t win. I would tell them to never give up,” she said.
Her drive to win meant acquiring the finances to purchase better goats. She spends time developing relationships with buyers and writing thank you notes to her supporters.
“You have to talk to people in the community, meet them and invite them to your sales. That’s how I raised the money to buy better goats,” Macy said.
The siblings do not always enjoy the task of writing thank-you notes, but they have learned buyers remember this simple act of appreciation and will likely return the following year to bid or place add-on money on their animals.
“I brainstorm ways to thank them or make them something or get them something to let them know I appreciate them. This year I handed out invitations to people so they would feel welcome,” she said.
Going the extra mile in the community has allowed Macy and Marshall to go the extra mile in the show ring. Both would not change their choice to choose agriculture.
“One thing I learned, is the animals don’t deserve to get a little bit of attention because I want to do a bunch of things,” Macy said.