Braden Booth finds time to be a student leader and budding cattleman
FAIR GROVE, MO. – There aren’t many teenagers able to handle farm responsibilities, seven extracurricular activities and still maintain a 4.0 GPA, but Braden Booth is an exception.
The 16-year-old junior at Fair Grove High School, Braden is the Future Business Leaders of America president and Fair Grove, one of the vice presidents for Distributive Education Clubs of America, FFA treasurer, varsity Scholar Bowl captain, National Honor Society member, cross country participant and a 4-H secretary. He also helps out on the family farm with a herd Charolais cattle.
Braden lives on a 75-acre farm in Fair Grove, Mo., with his parents Kyle and Tara Booth, and his 7-year-old brother Baylen. The family has approximately 30 head of Charolais and composite cattle.
On the farm, he has the typical duties of feeding, washing, and preparing cows for shows. He is also very involved in the breeding program on the farm.
“I look through all the catalogs. I look for the EPDs to make sure the bulls are going to be small enough that the cows aren’t going to have trouble calving,” Braden said. “A lot of it now is phenotype. I’m looking for how they look and show ring success. Used to it was just how they grew and how easy the calves were to have. That’s still a factor, but we’re looking more for doing well in the show ring.”
There’s also a reason the family farm chose Charolais cattle.
“You get a lot of weight, you get a lot of meat. And they cross up really well with pretty much any other breed,” Braden said. “A lot of my bulls I sell often go to commercial producers instead of purebred Charolais because Charolais adds so much value to any commercial herd – or any herd.”
Braden has been involved on the farm since a young age.
“I started showing when I was about 8. That’s when I really got involved and started taking a little more interest in it,” Braden said.
The farm is a huge part of his life, and Braden spends a large amount of time at shows and with this cattle.
“Most years we go to Charolais Junior Nationals. We’ve gone to Iowa, Nebraska; we’ve gone to Texas. We show a lot at county fairs. Ozark Empire Fair, (Missouri) State Fair. This year we’re showing at the American Royal.”
They typically attend 15 shows a year,
Braden continues to expand his repertoire of information, much of which he learns by doing.
“Dad taught me quite a bit, but just a lot of the stuff I just kind of learned,” Braden said. He added there is another person who has aided in his farm knowledge: Richard Brooks. Richard AIs the cows for the Booth farm and has been involved with genetics for approximately 50 years.
“He knows a ton about embryo transfer and breeding and AI and how to pick bulls, so I’ve learned a lot about that area from him,” Braden said.
All of the extracurricular activities help expand Brayden’s education as well. Braden has been involved with 4-H for eight years, and his 4-H leader is Becka Cline. 4-H shows at the state fair has been one of Braden’s favorite activities. This is his third year in FFA, with his chapter advisors being Matt Crutcher and Cole Johnston. All of his program leaders have abetted in his interests and success.
Braden has achieved a lot in the last few years. He was first in districts for speeches with FFA and qualified for state.
Another notable win was his Scholar Bowl Club, winning seventh place at nationals. Individually, Braden was 57th in the nation.
A few of Braden’s recent wins in the show ring include reserve grand champion bull in the FFA Show at the Missouri State Fair, reserve overall at Ozark Empire Fair, and bred and owned heifer at the Ozark Empire Fair in 2019 and 2020. He also won reserve grand champion cow/calf pair and reserve grand champion bull in the FFA division at the Missouri State Fair.
Braden is considering his college options after graduation. He intends to become a chemical engineer someday. However, he will continue on in the farming tradition, no matter his official career path.