The Day siblings moved from showing sheep to cattle, and compete in the Missouri Family Rodeo Association
MARSHFIELD, MO. – It takes a youngster, or four, to appreciate a chunk of ice taken from the water trough after the first really cold snap of the year.
On their Webster County farm near Marshfield, Mo., Jeremy and Joni Day are raising their children, Hollis (12), Hadley (10), Harper (9) and Heston (6) to appreciate and enjoy farm life and to be responsible care-takers of the animals they raise and enjoy.
“We have a little bit of Angus, but mostly we have Simmental. We’ve just got into Simmental,” Hollis explained. “We have a few SimAngus cows. We wanted to show Brangus, but there was no competition in that. So we switched over to Simmental. We bought a few cows at the Bricktown (National Simmental) Sale. We bought a few calves from the Fall Harvest Sale. We bought a pair and a bred cow. We’ve got three show heifers. One of the show heifers was from the Fall Harvest sale. We bought a cow/calf pair and we showed the calf.”
The family has always had cows. “My dad grew up on a cow farm and mom grew up showing, and dad grew up showing. They both had Brangus, that’s why we wanted to try to get into Brangus,” Hollis explained.
When Brangus didn’t work out, Joni said the Simmentals looked good. So they did their research and decided to try them.
“I can literally just go around and touch them. I could probably walk up and touch every single one of them. I like the Simmentals because they’re really docile. I wanted to show since I was Heston’s age. I showed bottle calves,” Hollis said. The cows are his favorite animals. “I like to show them. I like being around them.”
Hollis has won several awards, but is very proud of winning the Dallas Bradley Memorial traveling trophy for Intermediate Showmanship at the Webster County Fair with his heifer.
“This year, if we can find some heifers in time, we’re going to the American Royal because Hadley’s a princess,” Hollis said. “There’s a (Missouri Junior Simmental Association) princess and a queen, and they dress up and give out ribbons.”
She may be a princess in the Simmental association, but Hadley is also a horse girl.
“I really like to ride horses and they’re really fun because you can make a good friend with them. They’re also really gentle. Some horses are skittish, but our horses are pretty good,” Hadley said. “I also take care of some horses that are in the barn,” she added.
Harper, 9, has won reserve grand champion at the Laclede County Fair with her heifer, and, like her sister, likes horses.
“I like running them. They’re very comfortable and fun. I like running with them and going fast,” Harper said. Her chores include taking care of the ponies, one big horse and a donkey.
Heston, the youngest of the Day brood, also has chores.
“I feed the dogs and cats. I help Harper hay,” he said, adding that the family’s barn cats are his favorites.
Heston has also explored the showring, showing a cow/calf pair with Hollis at the Missouri State Fair, winning reserve champion.
While Hollis says raising animals is teaching him responsibility, Heston said he is learning how to lead and show cows, and not to walk behind horses or cows.
All four of the Day kids worked together and won the Herdsman award at the Webster County Fair.
This was their first year showing cattle, but they showed sheep for six years. They had to liquidate the flock because of a coyote problem.
“The sheep were nice when the kids were little, because the sheep were little,” Joni said. But she is glad they will only be showing cattle now.
Besides showing cattle, they also participate in the MFRA (Missouri Family Rodeo Association).
“Us two girls do barrels and poles. Heston does barrels on his little pony. We do goats, which is where we go down and tie the goat. Heston does goat tail-tying,” Hadley stated.
“A person will be down there holding the goat and you go down and tie the goat’s tail,” Heston explained. He has a ribbon that he holds in his mouth and when he gets to the goat, he ties it on its tail.
“Heston also does mutton busting, which is sheep riding,” Hadley said.
Besides rodeos, the Days like to use their horses to go on family trail rides. They usually stick close to home when they trail ride, which means an hour or so away. But Joni’s sister lives in Kansas City, so sometimes they like to go there and find a place to ride.
A year ago, Jeremy and Joni Day started the Farm and Field 4-H Club.
“We had 40 kids actually signed up. We would have 70 people at a meeting sometimes, with parents and everything,” Joni said. Re-enrollment was in October, so they don’t know yet how many they’ll have for this coming year, but are expecting 40 to 50 kids.
“You have to be 8 to be in 4-H. But there is Clover Kids, and Heston is a Clover Kid,” Harper explained.