Donated Heifer Project
Donated Heifer Project
Donated Heifer Project: 2021 Recap and 2022 Application Announcement By Grace Woodmansee, UCCE Siskiyou Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
Cali White was selected as the 2021 recipient of a bred heifer, donated by Dixie Valley Angus of Montague, for the Siskiyou County Cattlemen and CattleWomen’s Donated Heifer Project. The recent Yreka High School graduate has been very involved in FFA and learning more about the beef industry and was excited for the opportunity to raise, show and sell her first heifer. Cali says the Donated Heifer Project gave her the hands-on experience that she was looking for: “I have been an active member of the Gazelle 4-H club since 5th grade and had only showed rabbits and horses at the local fair. Once I entered high school and began taking Ag classes I became more interested in different species. After watching my younger sister raise her first heifer, and growing fonder of the beef lessons in class, I decided it was time to learn about beef hands on”.
The Donated Heifer Project was initiated by former UC Cooperative Extension Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, Cari Koopmann Rivers, in conjunction with the Siskiyou County Cattlemen and CattleWomen Boards in 2018. Since then, the Cattlemen and CattleWomen have made it their mission to support a 4-H or FFA member who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to raise and sell a bred heifer at fair. “The Donated Heifer Project is a good thing for local ranchers and organizations to support because it helps kids get connected to the cattle industry”, says Greg Kuck, Board Member and Past President of the Siskiyou County Cattlemen’s Association. “We all have the responsibility to help the next generation get involved and carry on what we’ve worked hard to build”, he adds. Cali exemplifies how the Donated Heifer Project can open doors for recipients to become more connected to the ranching community and ultimately give back to the beef industry, as she is currently serving as the 2021 Senior Beef Ambassador for the Northern California Region. “(The Donated Heifer Project) gave me a great chance to learn a lot more about my Ag based community. My goal now is to learn more about the beef industry so I can spread the knowledge to others that are wanting to learn”, she says.
Generous donors are key to the Donated Heifer Project’s success. Dixie Valley Angus donated the heifer that Cali was awarded in 2021 and Criss Ranch, Hinton Ranch, Kuck Brothers, and Rivers Red Angus donated heifers to prior recipients. The connections made between the donating ranch and the heifer recipient are a tremendous benefit of the program as well not only are recipients learning more about raising cattle, they’re also being introduced to a potential mentor that is established in the industry. “Siskiyou county is rich in deep rooted ranching families with unmatched industry experience. I wanted kids to be able to learn from producers and through the in-person heifer selection process, ultimately allowing kids not embedded in the community to begin building relationships and expanding their knowledge of the industry”, says Koopman Rivers. Without the support of donors, the project would not be possible, and Cali was extremely appreciative of Dixie Valley Angus’ generosity. “I would like to thank Dixie Valley Angus for donating the heifer. They have been very supportive throughout the whole journey. They are always willing to lend a helping hand in this new learning experience. I am thankful for the opportunity they provided me with and am hoping to learn more from them in the future”.
When asked to reflect on her experience raising and showing her donated heifer, Cali was quick to note: “My favorite moment throughout this journey of raising my heifer has been gaining her trust and growing a relationship with her. She has been very patient with me as I am learning all the ways to raise beef”. Cali is currently a freshman at the College of the Siskiyous earning her AA in child development and looks forward to remaining involved in Siskiyou County agriculture. “I will keep up with local horse events and continue learning about cattle”, she says.
Applications are currently being accepted! If you are interested in raising a heifer for the 2022 Siskiyou Golden Fair or Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair, please click HERE for the full application. Applications are DUE on October 25, 2021! Please mail or drop off completed applications at the Cooperative Extension office in Yreka: UC Cooperative Extension c/o Nicole Stevens, Heifer Project, 1655 South Main Street, Yreka CA 96097.